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" A daring essay in speculation. And 
a fascinating speculator it is."— Daily 


" The subject is treated with charac- 
teristic thoroughness, and one cannot 
but admire the ability, erudition and 
patience of the author."— Midtend. 
Medical Journal. 

"This is certainly the author's 
greatest and most important work. To 
psychologist and physician the work is 
indispensable." — Lancet. 

"This work shows further proof of 
his remarkable ability in psychological 
analysis and has added greatly to our 
knowledge of the dream, its exciting 
and determining factors, meaning 

and Tela,tionship."—Medico-Chiroloqical 

" Dr. Brill has performed the dif3ficult 
task of translation well and faithfully." 
— AtJiencBuvi. 

"Dr. Brill deserves very great credit 
for his painstaking and accurate trans- 
lation . . . this translation must rank 
as one of the most important medical 
publications of the year. It is un- 
doubtedly an epoch-making book." 

Medical Times. 




Author of " The Interpretation of Dreams," <>t« 





President of Clark University 





e, AUG 3 20N oj 


To Dr. G. Stanley Hall, President of Clark 
University, who first called to my attention 
the charm of GradivUt by Wilhelm Jensen, and 
suggested the possibility of the translation and 
publication combined with the translation of 
Freud's commentary, I am deeply grateful for his 
kindly interest and effort in connection with the 
publication of the book, and his assistance with 
the technical terms of psychopathology. 

In this connection I am also indebted to Dr. 
Smith Ely Jelliffe, who gave many helpful sug- 
gestions as a result of his thorough reading of 
the manuscript of the commentary. 

I wish also to express my profound appreciation 
to my friend, Miss M. Evelyn Fitzsimmons, for 
her generous help with the original manuscript 
and other valuable comments offered while she 
was reading the entire proof. 

Worcester, Mass. 

Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive 

in 2008 witii funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 




PREFACE ....... 5 


By Dr. G. Stanley Hall 



A Novel, by Wilhehn Jensen 


DELUSION AND DREAM . . . . .111 

In ^* Gradiva," by Dr. Sigmund Freud 


JENSEN'S brilliant and unique story of Gra- 
diva has not only literary merit of very 
high order, but may be said to open up a new field 
for romance. It is the story of a young archaeolo- 
gist who suffered a very characteristic mental 
disturbance and was gradually but effectively 
cured by a kind of native psychotherapeutic in- 
stinct, which probably inheres in all of us, but 
which in this case was found in the girl he formerly 
loved but had forgotten, and who restored at the 
same time his health and his old affection for her. 
Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about 
the work is that the author knew nothing of psy- 
chotherapy as such, but wrought his way through 
the labyrinth of mechanisms that he in a sense 
rediscovered and set to work, so that it needed 
only the application of technical terms to make 
this romance at the same time a pretty good key 
to the whole domain of psychoanalysis. In a sense 
it is a dream-story, but no single dream ever 
began to be so true to the typical nature of dreams ; 
it is a clinical picture, but I can think of no clinical 
picture that had its natural human interest 
so enhanced by a moving romance. Gradiva 
might be an introduction to psychoanalysis, and 
is better than anything else we can think of to 
popularize it. 

It might be added that while this romance has 
been more thoroughly analysed than any other, 


and that by Freud himself, it is really only one 
of many which in the literature of the subject have 
been used to show forth the mysterious ways of 
the unconscious. It indicates that psychoanalysis 
has a future in literary criticism, if not that all 
art and artists have, from the beginning, more or 
less anticipated as they now illustrate it. 

The translator is thoroughly competent and has 
done her work with painstaking conscientiousness, 
and she has had the great advantage of having it 
revised, especially with reference to the translation 
of technical terms from the German, by no less an 
eminent expert in psychotherapy than Dr. Smith 
Ely JeUiffe. 








ON a visit to one of the great antique collections 
of Rome, Norbert Hanold had discovered 
a bas-relief which was exceptionally attractive to 
him, so he was much pleased, after his return to 
Germany, to be able to get a splendid plaster-cast 
of it. This had now been hanging for some years 
on one of the walls of his work-room, all the other 
walls of which were lined with bookcases. Here 
it had the advantage of a position with the right 
light exposure, on a wall visited, though but briefly, 
by the evening sun. About one-third life-size, the 
bas-relief represented a complete female figure in 
the act of walking ; she was still young, but no 
longer in childhood and, on the other hand, 
apparently not a woman, but a Roman virgin 
about in her twentieth year. In no way did she 
remind one of the numerous extant bas-reliefs of 
a Venus, a Diana, or other Olympian goddess, and 
equally little of a Psyche or nymph. In her was 
embodied something humanly commonplace — not 
in a bad sense — to a degree a sense of present time, 
as if the artist, instead of making a pencil sketch 
of her on a sheet of paper, as is done in our day, 
had fixed her in a clay model quickly, from life, 
as she passed on the street, a tall, slight figure, 
whose soft, wavy hair a folded kerchief almost 



completely bound ; her rather slender face was 
not at all dazzling ; and the desire to produce such 
effect was obviously equally foreign to her ; in 
the delicately formed features was expressed a 
nonchalant equanimity in regard to what was 
occurring about her ; her eye, which gazed calmly 
ahead, bespoke absolutely unimpaired powers of 
vision and thoughts quietly withdrawn. So the 
young woman was fascinating, not at all because 
of plastic beauty of form, but because she pos- 
sessed something rare in antique sculpture, a 
realistic, simple, maidenly grace which gave the 
impression of imparting life to the relief. This was 
effected chiefly by the movement represented in 
the picture. With her head bent forward a little, 
she held slightly raised in her left hand, so that 
her sandalled feet became visible, her garment 
which fell in exceedingly voluminous folds from 
her throat to her ankles. The left foot had ad- 
vanced, and the right, about to follow, touched 
the ground only lightly with the tips of the toes, 
while the sole and heel were raised almost 
vertically. This movement produced a double 
impression of exceptional agility and of confident 
composure, and the flight-like poise, combined 
with a firm step, lent her the peculiar grace. 

Where had she walked thus and whither was 
she going ? Doctor Norbert Hanold, docent of 
archaeology, really found in the relief nothing 
noteworthy for his science. It was not a plastic 
production of great art of the antique times, but 
was essentially a Roman genre production, and he 
could not explain what quality in it had aroused 
his attention ; he knew only that he had been 


attracted by something and this effect of the first 
view had remained unchanged since then. In 
order to bestow a name upon the piece of sculpture, 
he had called it to himself Gradiva, " the girl 
splendid in walking." That was an epithet applied 
by the ancient poets solely to Mars Gradivus, the 
war-god going out to battle, yet to Norbert it seemed 
the most appropriate designation for the bearing 
and movement of the young girl, or, according to 
the expression of our day, of the young lady, for 
obviously she did not belong to a lower class but 
was the daughter of a nobleman, or at any rate 
was of honourable family. Perhaps — her appear- 
ance brought the idea to his mind involuntarily — 
she might be of the family of a patrician fedile 
whose office was connected with the worship of 
Ceres, and she was on her way to the temple of 
the goddess on some errand. 

Yet it was contrary to the young archaeologist's 
feeling to put her in the frame of great, noisy, 
cosmopolitan Rome. To his mind, her calm, quiet 
manner did not belong in this complex machine 
where no one heeded another, but she belonged 
rather in a smaller place where every one knew 
her, and, stopping to glance after her, said to a 
companion, " That is Gradiva " — her real name 

Norbert could not supply — " the daughter of , 

she walks more beautifully than any other girl 
in our city." 

As if he had heard it thus with his own ears, 
the idea had become firmly rooted in his mind, 
where another supposition had developed almost 
into a conviction. On his Italian journey, he had 
spent several weeks in Pompeii studying the ruins ; 


and in Germany, the idea had suddenly come to 
him one day that the girl depicted by the relief 
was walking there, somewhere, on the peculiar 
stepping-stones which have been excavated ; these 
had made a dry crossing possible in rainy weather, 
but had afforded passage for chariot-wheels. Thus 
he saw her putting one foot across the interstice 
while the other was about to follow, and as he 
contemplated the girl, her immediate and more 
remote environment rose before his imagination 
like an actuality. It created for him, with the 
aid of his knowledge of antiquity, the vista of a 
long street, among the houses of which were many 
temples and porticoes. Different kinds of business 
and trades, stalls, work- shops, taverns came into 
view ; bakers had their breads on display ; earthen- 
ware jugs, set into marble counters, offered every- 
thing requisite for household and kitchen ; at 
the street corner sat a woman offering vegetables 
and fruit for sale from baskets ; from a half- 
dozen large walnuts she had removed half of 
the shell to show the meat, fresh and sound, as 
a temptation for purchasers. Wherever the eye 
turned, it fell upon lively colours, gaily painted 
wall siurfaces, pillars with red and yellow capitals ; 
everything reflected the glitter and glare of the 
dazzling noonday sun. Farther off on a high 
base rose a gleaming, white statue, above which, 
in the distance, half veiled by the tremulous 
vibrations of the hot air, loomed Mount Vesuvius, 
not yet in its present cone shape and brown 
aridity, but covered to its furrowed, rocky peak 
with glistening verdure. In the street only a 
few people moved about, seeking shade wherevei" 


possible, for the scorching heat of the summer 
noon hour paralysed the usually bustling activities. 
There Gradiva walked over the stepping-stones 
and scared away from them a shimmering, golden- 
green lizard. 

Thus the picture stood vividly before Norbert 
Hanold's eyes, but from daily contemplation of 
her head, another new conjecture had gradually 
arisen. The cut of her features seemed to him, 
more and more, not Roman or Latin, but Greek, 
so that her Hellenic ancestry gradually became 
for him a certainty. The ancient settlement of 
all southern Italy by Greeks offered sufficient 
ground for that, and more ideas pleasantly asso- 
ciated with the settlers developed. Then the 
young " domina " had perhaps spoken Greek in 
her parental home, and had grown up fostered 
by Greek culture. Upon closer consideration he 
found this also confirmed by the expression of 
the face, for quite decidedly wisdom and a delicate 
spirituality lay hidden beneath her modesty. 

These conjectures or discoveries could, however, 
establish no real archaeological interest in the 
little relief, and Norbert was well aware that some- 
thing else, which no doubt might be under the 
head of science, made him return to frequent 
contemplation of the likeness. For him it was 
a question of critical judgment as to whether the 
artist had reproduced Gradiva's manner of walking 
from life. About that he could not become abso- 
lutely certain, and his rich collection of copies of 
antique plastic works did not help him in this 
matter. The nearly vertical position of the right 
foot seemed exaggerated ; in all experiments which 



he himself made, the movement left his rising foot 
always in a much less upright position ; mathe- 
matically formulated, his stood, during the brief 
moment of lingering, at an angle of only forty-five 
degrees from the ground, and this seemed to him 
natural for the mechanics of walking, because it 
served the purpose best. Once he used the presence 
of a young anatomist friend as an opportunity for 
raising the question, but the latter was not able 
to deliver a definite decision, as he had made no 
observations in this connection. He confirmed the 
experience of his friend, as agreeing with his own, 
but could not say whether a woman's manner of 
walking was different from that of a man, and 
the question remained unanswered. 

In spite of this, the discussion had not been 
without profit, for it suggested something that 
had not formerly occurred to him ; namely, obser- 
vation from life for the purpose of enlightenment 
on the matter. That forced him, to be sure, to 
a mode of action utterly foreign to him ; women 
had formerly been for him only a conception in 
marble or bronze, and he had never given his 
feminine contemporaries the least consideration ; 
but his desire for knowledge transported him into 
a scientific passion in which he surrendered himself 
to the peculiar investigation which he recognized 
as necessary. This was hindered by many diffi- 
culties in the human throng of the large city, and 
results of the research were to be hoped for only 
in the less frequented streets. Yet, even there, 
long skirts generally made the mode of walking 
undiscernible, for almost no one but housemaids 
wore short skirts and they, with the exception of 


a few, because of their heavy shoes could not well 
be considered in solving the question. In spite 
of this he steadfastly continued his survey in dry, 
as well as in wet weather ; he perceived that the 
latter promised the quickest results, for it caused 
the ladies to raise their skirts. To many ladies, 
his searching glances directed at their feet must 
have inevitably been quite noticeable ; sometimes 
a displeased expression of the lady observed showed 
that she considered his demeanour a mark of bold- 
ness or ill-breeding ; sometimes, as he was a young 
man of very captivating appearance, the opposite, 
a bit of encouragement, was expressed by a pair 
of eyes. Yet one was as incomprehensible to him 
as the other. Gradually his perseverance resulted 
in the collection of a considerable number of 
observations, which brought to his attention many 
differences. Some walked slowly, some fast, some 
ponderously, some buoyantly. Many let their soles 
merely glide over the ground ; not many raised 
them more obliquely to a smarter position. Among 
all, however, not a single one presented to view 
Gradiva's manner of walking. That filled him with 
satisfaction that he had not been mistaken in his 
archaeological judgment of the relief. On the other 
hand, however, his observations caused him annoy- 
ance, for he found the vertical position of the 
lingering foot beautiful, and regretted that it had 
been created by the imagination or arbitrary act 
of the sculptor and did not correspond to reality. 
Soon after his pedestrian investigations had 
yielded him this knowledge, he had, one night, a 
dream which caused him great anguish of mind. 
In it he was in old Pompeii, and on the twenty- 


fourth of August of the year 79, which witnessed 
the eruption of Vesuvius. The heavens held the 
doomed city wrapped in a black mantle of smoke ; 
only here and there the flaring masses of flame 
from the crater made distinguishable, through a 
rift, something steeped in blood-red light ; all the 
inhabitants, either individually or in confused 
crowd, stunned out of their senses by the unusual 
horror, sought safety in flight ; the pebbles and 
the rain of ashes fell down on Norbert also, but, 
after the strange manner of dreams, they did not 
hurt him, and in the same way, he smelled the 
deadly sulphur fumes of the air without having 
his breathing impeded by them. As he stood thus 
at the edge of the Forum near the Jupiter temple, 
he suddenly saw Gradiva a short distance in front 
of him. Until then no thought of her presence 
there had moved him, but now suddenly it seemed 
natural to him, as she was, of course, a Pompeiian 
girl, that she was living in her native city and, 
without his having any suspicion of it, was his 
contemporary. He recognized her at first glance ; 
the stone model of her was splendidly striking in 
every detail, even to her gait ; involuntarily he 
designated this as *' lente festinans." So with 
buoyant composure and the calm unmindfulness 
of her surroundings peculiar to her, she walked 
across the flagstones of the Forum to the Temple 
of Apollo. She seemed not to notice the impend- 
ing fate of the city, but to be given up to her 
thoughts ; on that account he also forgot the 
frightful occurrence, for at least a few moments, 
and because of a feeling that the living reality 
would quickly disappear from him again, he trfgd 


to impress it accurately on his mind. Then, how- 
ever, he became suddenly aware that if she did 
not quickly save herself, she must perish in the 
general destruction, and violent fear forced from 
him a cry of warning. She heard it, too, for her 
head turned toward him so that her face now 
appeared for a moment in full view, yet with an 
utterly uncomprehending expression ; and, without 
paying any more attention to him, she continued 
in the same direction as before. At the same 
time, her face became paler as if it were changing 
to white marble ; she stepped up to the portico of 
the Temple, and then, between the pillars, she sat 
down on a step and slowly laid her head upon it. 
Now the pebbles were falling in such masses that 
they condensed into a completely opaque curtain ; 
hastening quickly after her, however, he found 
his way to the place where she had disappeared 
from his view, and there she lay, protected by the 
projecting roof, stretched out on the broad step, 
as if for sleep, but no longer breathing, apparently 
stifled by the sulphur fumes. From Vesuvius the 
red glow flared over her countenance, which, with 
closed eyes, was exactly like that of a beautiful 
statue. No fear nor distortion was apparent, but 
a strange equanimity, calmly submitting to the 
inevitable, was manifest in her features. Yet they 
quickly became more indistinct as the wind drove 
to the place the rain of ashes, which spread over 
them, first like a grey gauze veil, then extinguished 
the last glimpse of her face, and soon, like a 
Northern winter snowfall, buried the whole figure 
under a smooth cover. Outside, the pillars of 
the Temple of Apollo rose, now, however, only 


half of them, for the grey fall of ashes heaped itself 
likewise against them. 

When Norbert Hanold awoke, he still heard the 
confused cries of the Pompeiians who were seeking 
safety, and the dully resounding boom of the surf 
of the turbulent sea. Then he came to his senses ; 
the sun cast a golden gleam of light across his bed ; 
it was an April morning and outside sounded the 
various noises of the city, cries of venders, and 
the rumbling of vehicles. Yet the dream picture 
still stood most distinctly in every detail before 
his open eyes, and some time was necessary before 
he could get rid of a feeling that he had really 
been present at the destruction on the bay of 
Naples, that night nearly two thousand years ago. 
While he was dressing, he first became gradually 
free from it, yet he did not succeed, even by the 
use of critical thought, in breaking away from the 
idea that Gradiva had lived in Pompeii and had 
been buried there in 79. Rather, the former con- 
jecture had now become to him an established 
certainty, and now the second also was added. 
With woful feeling he now viewed in his living- 
room the old relief which had assumed new signi- 
ficance for him. It was, in a way, a tombstone 
by which the artist had preserved for posterity 
the likeness of the girl who had so early departed 
this life. Yet if one looked at her with enlightened 
understanding, the expression of her whole being 
left no doubt that, on that fateful night, she had 
actually lain down to die with just such calm as 
the dream had showed. An old proverb says that 
the darlings of the gods are taken from the earth 
in the full vigour of youth. 


Without having yet put on a collar, in morning 
array, with slippers on his feet, Norbert leaned on 
the open window and gazed out. The spring, 
which had finally arrived in the north also, was 
without, but announced itself in the great quarry 
of the city only by the blue sky and the soft air, 
yet a foreboding of it reached the senses, and 
awoke in remote, sunny places a desire for leaf- 
green, fragrance and bird song ; a breath of it 
came as far as this place ; the market women on 
the street had their baskets adorned with a few, 
bright wild flowers, and at an open window, a 
canary in a cage warbled his song. Norbert felt 
sorry for the poor fellow for, beneath the clear 
tone, in spite of the joyful note, he heard the 
longing for freedom and the open. 

Yet the thoughts of the young archaeologist 
dallied but briefly there, for something else had 
crowded into them. Not until then had he become 
aware that in the dream he had not noticed exactly 
whether the living Gradiva had really walked as 
the piece of sculpture represented her, and as the 
women of to-day, at any rate, did not walk. That 
was remarkable because it was the basis of his 
scientific interest in the relief; on the other hand, 
it could be explained by his excitement over the 
danger to her life. He tried, in vain, however, to 
recall her gait. 

Then suddenly something like a thrill passed 
through him ; in the first moment he could not 
say whence. But then he realized ; down in the 
street, with her back toward him, a female, from 
figure and dress undoubtedly a young lady, was 
walking along with easy, elastic step. Her dress. 


which reached only to her ankles, she held lifted 
a little in her left hand, and he saw that in walking 
the sole of her slender foot, as it followed, rose 
for a moment vertically on the tips of the toes. 
It appeared so, but the distance and the fact 
that he was looking down did not admit of 

Quickly Norbert Hanold was in the street with- 
out yet knowing exactly how he had come there. 
He had, like a boy sliding down a railing, flown like 
lightning down the steps, and was running down 
among the carriages, carts and people. The latter 
directed looks of wonder at him, and from several 
lips came laughing, half mocking exclamations. 
He was unaware that these referred to him ; his 
glance was seeking the young lady and he thought 
that he distinguished her dress a few dozen steps 
ahead of him, but only the upper part ; of the 
lower half, and of her feet, he could perceive 
nothing, for they were concealed by the crowd 
thronging on the sidewalk. 

Now an old, comfortable, vegetable woman 
stretched her hand toward his sleeve, stopped him 
and said, half grinning, " Say, my dear, you pro- 
bably drank a little too much last night, and are 
you looking for your bed here in the street ? You 
would do better to go home and look at yourself 
in the mirror." 

A burst of laughter from those near by proved 
it true that he had shown himself in garb not suited 
to public appearance, and brought him now to 
realization that he had heedlessly run from his 
room. That surprised him because he insisted upon 
conventionality of attire and, forsaking his project, 


he quickly returned home, apparently, however, 
with his mind still somewhat confused by the 
dream and dazed by illusion, for he had perceived 
that, at the laughter and exclamation, the young 
lady had turned her head a moment, and he thought 
he had seen not the face of a stranger, but that of 
Gradiva looking down upon him. 

Because of considerable property. Doctor Norbert 
Hanold was in the pleasant position of being un- 
hampered master of his own acts and wishes and, 
upon the appearance of any inclination, of not 
depending for expert counsel about it on any 
higher court than his own decision. In this way 
he differed most favourably from the canary, who 
could only warble out, without success, his inborn 
impulse to get out of the cage into the sunny open. 
Otherwise, however, the young archaeologist re- 
sembled the latter in many respects. He had not 
come into the world and grown up in natural 
freedom, but already at birth had been hedged in 
by the grating with which family tradition, by 
education and predestination, had surrounded him. 
From his early childhood no doubt had existed in 
his parents' house that he, as the only son of 
a university professor and antiquarian, was called 
upon to preserve, if possible to exalt, by that very 
activity the glory of his father's name ; so this 
business continuity had always seemed to him 
the natural task of his future. He had clung 
loyally to it even after the early deaths of his 
parents had left him absolutely alone ; in con- 
nection with his brilliantly passed examination in 


philology, he had taken the prescribed student 
trip to Italy and had seen in the original a number 
of old works of art whose imitations, only, had 
formerly been accessible to him. Nothing more 
instructive for him than the collections of Florence, 
Rome, Naples could be offered anywhere ; he 
could furnish evidence that the period of his stay 
there had been used excellently for the enrichment 
of his knowledge, and he had returned home fully 
satisfied to devote himself with the new acquisi- 
tions to his science. That besides these objects 
from the distant past, the present still existed 
round about him, he felt only in the most shadowy 
wa}'" ; for his feelings marble and bronze were not 
dead, but rather the only really vital thing which 
expressed the purpose and value of human life ; 
and so he sat in the midst of his walls, books and 
pictures, with no need of any other intercourse, 
but whenever possible avoiding the latter as an 
empty squandering of time and only very reluc- 
tantly submitting occasionally to an inevitable 
party, attendance at which was required by the 
connections handed down from his parents. Yet 
it was known that at such gatherings he was 
present without eyes or ears for his surroundings, 
and as soon as it was any way permissible, he 
always took his leave, under some pretext, at the 
end of the lunch or dinner, and on the street he 
greeted none of those whom he had sat with at 
the table. That served, especially with young 
ladies, to put him in a rather unfavourable light ; 
for upon meeting even a girl with whom he had, 
by way of exception, spoken a few words, he 
looked at her without a greeting as at a quite un- 


known person whom he had never seen. Although 
perhaps archaeology, in itself, might be a rather 
curious science and although its alloy had effected 
a remarkable amalgamation with Norbert Hanold's 
nature, it could not exercise much attraction for 
others and afforded even him little enjoyment in 
life according to the usual views of youth. Yet 
with a perhaps kindly intent Nature had added to 
his blood, without his knowing of the possession, 
a kind of corrective of a thoroughly unscientific 
sort, an unusually lively imagination which was 
present not only in dreams, but often in his waking 
hours, and essentially made his mind not prepon- 
derantly adapted to strict research method devoid 
of interest. From this endowment, however, 
originated another similarity between him and the 
canary. The latter was born in captivity, had 
never known anything else than the cage which 
confined him in narrow quarters, but he had an 
inner feeling that something was lacking to him, 
and sounded from his throat his desire for the 
unknown. Thus Norbert Hanold understood it, 
pitied him for it, returned to his room, leaned 
again from the window and was thereupon moved 
by a feeling that he, too, lacked a nameless some- 
thing. Meditation on it, therefore, could be of no 
use. The indefinite stir of emotion came from 
the mild, spring air, the sunbeams and the broad 
expanse with its fragrant breath, and formed a 
comparison for him ; he was likewise sitting in 
a cage behind a grating. Yet this idea was imme- 
diately followed by the palliating one that his 
position was more advantageous than that of the 
canary, for he had in his possession wings which 


were hindered by nothing from flying out into the 
open at his pleasure. 

But that was an idea which developed more 
upon reflection. Norbert gave himself up for a 
time to this occupation, yet it was not long before 
the project of a spring journey assumed definite 
shape. This he carried out that very day, packed 
a light valise, and before he went south by the 
night express, cast at nightfall another regretful 
departing glance on Gradiva, who, steeped in the 
last rays of the sun, seemed to step out with more 
buoyancy than ever over the invisible stepping- 
stones beneath her feet. Even if the impulse for 
travel had originated in a nameless feeling, further 
reflection had, however, granted, as a matter of 
course, that it must serve a scientific purpose. It 
had occurred to him that he had neglected to 
inform himself with accuracy about some impor- 
tant archaeological questions in connection with 
some statues in Rome and, without stopping on 
the way, he made the journey of a day and a half 

Not very many personally experience the beauty 
of going from Germany to Italy in the spring when 
one is young, wealthy and independent, for even 
those endowed with the three latter requirements 
are not always accessible to such a feeling for 
beauty, especially if they (and alas they form the 
majority) are in couples on the days or weeks after 
a wedding, for such allow nothing to pass without 
an extraordinary delight, which is expressed in 
numerous superlatives ; and finally they bring 


back home, as profit, only what they would have 
discovered, felt or enjoyed exactly as much by 
staying there. In the spring such dualists usually 
swarm over the Alpine passes in exactly opposite 
direction to the birds of passage. During the 
whole journey they billed and cooed around Nor- 
bert as if they were in a rolling dove-cot, and for 
the first time in his life he was compelled to observe 
his fellow beings more closely with eye and ear. 
Although, from their speech, they were all German 
country people, his racial identity with them 
awoke in him no feeling of pride, but rather the 
opposite one, that he had done reasonably well 
to bother as little as possible with the homo sapiens 
of Linnsean classification, especially in connection 
with the feminine half of this species ; for the first 
time he saw also, in his immediate vicinity, people 
brought together by the mating impulse without 
his being able to understand what had been the 
mutual cause. It remained incomprehensible to 
him why the women had chosen these men, and 
still more perplexing why the choice of the men 
had fallen upon these women. Every time he 
raised his eyes, his glance had to fall on the face 
of some one of them and it found none which 
charmed the eye by outer attraction or possessed 
indication of intellect or good nature. To be sure, 
he lacked a standard for measuring, for of course 
one could not compare the women of to-day with 
the subhme beauty of the old works of art, yet 
he had a dark suspicion that he was not to blame 
for this unkind view, but that in all expressions 
there was something lacking which ordinary life 
was in duty bound to offer. So he reflected for 


many hours on the strange impulses of human 
beings, and came to the conclusion that of all 
their follies, marriage, at any rate, took the prize 
as the greatest and most incomprehensible one, 
and the senseless wedding trips to Italy somehow 
capped the climax of this buffoonery. 

Again, however, he was reminded of the canary 
that he had left behind in captivity, for he also 
sat here in a cage, cooped in by the faces of young 
bridal couples which were as rapturous as vapid, 
past which his glance could only occasionally stray 
through the window. Therefore it can be easily 
explained that the things passing outside before 
his eyes made other impressions on him than when 
he had seen them some years before. The olive 
foliage had more of a silver sheen ; the solitary, 
towering cypresses and pines here and there were 
delineated with more beautiful and more dis- 
tinctive outlines ; the places situated on the 
mountain heights seemed to him more charming, 
as if each one, in a manner, were an individual 
with different expression ; and Trasimene Lake 
seemed to him of a soft blue such as he had never 
noticed in any surface of water. He had a feeling 
that a Nature unknown to him was surrounding 
the railway tracks, as if he must have passed 
through these places before in continual twilight, 
or during a grey rainfall, and was now seeing 
them for the first time in their golden abundance 
of colour. A few times he surprised himself in a 
desire, formerly unknown to him, to alight and 
seek afoot the way to this or that place because it 
looked to him as if it might be concealing some- 
thing peculiar or mysterious. Yet he did not allow 


himself to be misled by such um'easonable im- 
pulses, but the " diretissimo " took him directly 
to Rome where, already, before the entrance into 
the station, the ancient world with the ruins of 
the temple of Minerva Medica received him. 
When he had finally freed himself from his cage 
filled with " inseparables," he immediately secured 
accommodations in a hotel well known to him, in 
order to look about from there, without excessive 
haste, for a private house satisfactory to him. 

Such a one he had not yet found in the course 
of the next day, but returned to his " albergo " 
again in the evening and went to sleep rather 
exhausted by the unaccustomed Italian air, the 
strong sun, much wandering about and the noise 
of the streets. Soon consciousness began to fade, 
but just as he was about to fall asleep he was 
again awakened, for his room was connected with 
the adjoining one by a door concealed only by a 
wardrobe, and into this came two guests, who had 
taken possession of it that morning. From the 
voices which sounded through the thin partition, 
they were a man and a woman who unmistakably 
belonged to that class of German spring birds of 
passage with whom he had yesterday journeyed 
hither from Florence. Their frame of mind 
seemed to give decidedly favourable testimony 
concerning the hotel cuisine, and it might be due 
to the good quality of a Castellin-romani wine 
that they exchanged ideas and feelings most dis- 
tinctly and audibly in North German tongue ; 

" My only Augustus." 

" My sweet Gretchen." 

" Now again we have each other." 


" Yes, at last we are alone again." 

*' Must we do more sight-seeing to-morrow ? " 

" At breakfast we shall look in Baedeker for 
what is still to be done." 

" My only Augustus, to me you are much more 
pleasing than Apollo Belvedere." 

" And I have often thought, my sweet Gretchen, 
that you are much more beautiful than the 
Capitoline Venus." 

" Is the volcano that we want to climb near 
here ? " 

" No, I think we'll have to ride a few hours 
more in the train to get there." 

"If it should begin to belch flame just as we 
got to the middle, what would you do ? " 

" Then my only thought would be to save you, 
and I would take you in my arms — so." 

" Don't scratch yourself on that pin ! " 

" I can think of nothing more beautiful than to 
shed my blood for you." 

" My only Augustus." 

" My sweet Gretchen." 

With that the conversation ceased, Norbert 
heard another ill-defined rustling and moving of 
chairs, then it became quiet and he fell back into 
a doze which transported him to Pompeii just 
as Vesuvius again began its eruption. A vivid 
throng of fleeing people caught him, and among 
them he saw Apollo Belvedere lift up the Capi- 
toline Venus, take her away and place her safely 
upon some object in a dark shadow ; it seemed to 
be a carriage or cart on which she was to be carried 
off, for a rattling sound was soon heard from that 
direction. This mythological occurrence did not 


amaze the young archaeologist, but it struck him 
as remarkable that the two talked German, not 
Greek, to each other for, as they half regained 
their senses, he heard them say : 

" My sweet Gretchen." 

" My only Augustus." 

But after that the dream picture changed com- 
pletely. Absolute silence took the place of the 
confused sound, and instead of smoke and fire- 
glow, bright, hot sunlight rested on the ruins of 
the buried city. This likewise changed gradually, 
became a bed on whose white linen golden beams 
circled up to his eyes, and Norbert Hanold awoke 
in the scintillating spring morning of Rome. 

Within him, also, however, something had 
changed ; why, he could not surmise, but a 
strangely oppressive feeling had again taken pos- 
session of him, a feeling that he was imprisoned in 
a cage which this time was called Rome. As he 
opened the window, there screamed up from the 
street dozens of venders' cries far more shrill to 
his ear than those in his German home ; he had 
come only from one noisy quarry to another, and a 
strangely uncanny horror of antique collections, 
of meeting there Apollo Belvedere or the Capito- 
line Venus, frightened him away. Thus, after 
brief consideration, he refrained from his intention 
of looking for a dwelling, hastily packed his valise 
again and went farther south by train. To escape 
the " inseparables," he did this in a third-class 
coach, expecting at the same time to find there 
an interesting and scientifically useful company 
of Italian folk-types, the former models of antique 
works of art. Yet he found nothing but the usual 



dirt, Monopol cigars which smelled horribly, httle 
warped fellows beating about with arms and legs, 
and members of the female sex, in contrast to 
whom his coupled country-women seemed to his 
memory almost like Olympian goddesses. 

Two days later Norbert Hanold occupied a 
rather questionable space called a " room " in 
" Hotel Diomed " beside the eucalyptus-guarded 
" ingresso " to the excavations of Pompeii. He 
had intended to stay in Naples for some time to 
study again more closely the sculptures and wall- 
paintings in the Museo Nazionale, but he had 
had an experience there similar to that in Rome. 
In the room for the collection of Pompeiian house- 
hold furniture he found himself wrapped in a 
cloud of feminine, ultra-fashionable travel-costumes, 
which had doubtless all quickly replaced the virgin 
radiance of satin, silk or lace bridal finery ; each 
one clung to the arm of a young or old companion, 
likewise faultlessly attired, according to men's 
fashion standards ; and Norbert's newly gained 
insight into a field of knowledge formerly unknown 
to him had advanced so far as to permit him to 
recognize them at first glance ; every man was 
Augustus, every girl was Gretchen. Only this 
came to light here by means of other forms of 
conversation tempered, moderated and m.odified by 
the ear of publicity. 

" Oh, look, that was practical of them ; we'll 
surely have to get a meat warmer like that, too." 

" Yes, but for the food that my wife cooks it 
must be made of silver." 


" How do you know that what I cook will taste 
so good to you ? " 

The question was accompanied by a roguish, 
arch glance and was answered in the affirmative, 
with a glance varnished with lacquer, *' What you 
serve to me can be nothing but delicious." 

" No ; that surely is a thimble ! Did the people 
of those days have needles ? " 

" It almost seems so, but you could not have 
done anything with that, my darling, it would be 
much too large even for your thumb." 

" Do you really think that ? And do you like 
slender fingers better than broad ones ? " 

" Yours I do not need to see ; by touch I could 
discover them, in the deepest darkness, among all 
the others in the world." 

" That is really awfully interesting. Do we still 
really have to go to Pompeii also ? " 

" No, that will hardly pay ; there are only old 
stones and rubbish there ; whatever was of value, 
Baedeker says, was brought here. I fear the sun 
there would be too hot for your delicate com- 
plexion, and I could never forgive myself that." 

" What if you should suddenly have a negress 
for a wife ? " 

" No, my imagination fortunately does not reach 
that far, but a freckle on your little nose would 
make me unhappy. I think, if it is agreeable to 
you, we'll go to Capri to-morrow, my dear. There 
everything is said to be very comfortable, and in 
the wonderful light of the Blue Grotto I shall first 
realize completely what a great prize I have dra^vn 
in the lottery of happiness." 

" You — if any one hears that, I shall be almost 


ashamed. But wherever you take me, it is agree- 
able to me, and makes no difference, for I have 
you with me." 

Augustus and Gretchen over again, somewhat 
toned down and tempered for eye and ear. It 
seemed to Norbert Hanold that he had had thin 
honey poured upon him from all sides and that he 
had to dispose of it swallow by swallow. A sick 
feeling came over him, and he ran out of the 
Museo Nazionale to the nearest " osteria " to 
drink a glass of vermuth. Again and again the 
thought intruded itself upon his mind : Why did 
these hundredfold dualities fill the museums of 
Florence, Rome, Naples, instead of devoting them- 
selves to their plural occupations in their native 
Germany ? Yet from a number of chats and 
tender talks, it seemed to him that the majority 
of these bird couples did not intend to nest in the 
rubbish of Pompeii, but considered a side trip to 
Capri much more profitable, and thence originated 
his sudden impulse to do what they did not do. 
There was at any rate offered to him a chance to 
be freed from the main flock of this migration 
and to find what he was vainly seeking here in 
Italy. That was also a duality, not a wedding 
duality, but two members of the same family 
without cooing bills, silence and science, two 
calm sisters with whom only one could count 
upon satisfactory shelter. His desire for them 
contained something formerly unknown to him ; 
if it had not been a contradiction in itself, he 
could have applied to this impulse the epithet 
" passionate " — and an hour later he was already 
sitting in a " carrozzella " which bore him through 


the interminable Portici and Resina. The journey 
was hke one through a street splendidly adorned 
for an old Roman victor ; to the right and left 
almost every house spread out to dry in the siui, 
like yellow tapestry hangings, a super- abundant 
wealth of " pasta di Napoli," the greatest dainty 
of the country, thick or thin macaroni, vermicelli, 
spaghetti, canelloni and fidelini, to which smoke 
of fats from cook-shops, dust-clouds, flies and 
fleas, the fish scales flying about in the air, chim- 
ney smoke and other day and night influences lent 
the familiar delicacy of its taste. Then the cone of 
Vesuvius looked down close by across brown lava 
fields ; at the right extended the gulf of shimmer- 
ing blue, as if composed of liquid malachite and 
lapis lazuli. The little nutshell on wheels flew, 
as if whirled forth by a mad storm and as 
if every moment must be its last, over the 
dreadful pavement of Torre del Greco, rattled 
through Torre dell'Annunziata, reached the Dios- 
curi, " Hotel Suisse " and " Hotel Diomed," which 
measured their power of attraction in a ceaseless, 
silent, but ferocious struggle, and stopped before 
the latter whose classic name, again, as on his 
first visit, had determined the choice of the 
young archaeologist. With apparently, at least, the 
greatest composure, however, the modern Swiss 
competitor viewed this event before its very door. 
It was calm because no different water from what 
it used was boiled in the pots of its classic neigh- 
bour ; and the antique splendours temptingly dis- 
played for sale over there had not come to light 
again after two thousand years under the ashes, 
any more than the ones which it had. 


Thus Norbert Hanold, contrary to all expecta- 
tions and intentions, had been transported in a 
few days from northern Germany to Pompeii, 
found the " Diomed " not too much filled with 
human guests, but on the other hand populously 
inhabited by the musca domestica communis, the 
common house-fly. He had never been subject 
to violent emotions ; yet a hatred of these two- 
winged creatures burned within him ; he con- 
sidered them the basest evil invention of Nature, 
on their account much preferred the winter to the 
summer as the only time suited to human life, and 
recognized in them invincible proof against the 
existence of a rational world-system. Now they 
received him here several months earlier than he 
would have fallen to their infamy in Germany, 
rushed immediately about him in dozens, as upon 
a patiently awaited victim, whizzed before his 
eyes, buzzed in his ears, tangled themselves in his 
hair, tickled his nose, forehead and hands. 
Therein many reminded him of honeymoon 
couples, probably were also saying to each other 
in their language, " My only Augustus " and " My 
sweet Gretchen " ; in the mind of the tormented 
man rose a longing for a " scacciamosche," a splen- 
didly made fly-flapper like one unearthed from 
a burial vault, which he had seen in the Etruscan 
museum in Bologna. Thus, in antiquity, this 
worthless creature had likewise been the scourge 
of humanity, more vicious and more inevitable 
than scorpions, venomous snakes, tigers and sharks, 
which were bent upon only physical injury, rending 
or devouring the ones attacked ; against the 
former one could guard himself by thoughtful 


conduct. From the common house-fly, however, 
there was no protection, and it paralysed, dis- 
turbed and finally shattered the psychic life of 
human beings, their capacity for thinking and 
working, every lofty flight of imagination and 
every beautiful feeling. Hunger or thirst for blood 
did not impel them, but solely the diabolical 
desire to torture ; it was the " Ding an sich " in 
which absolute evil had found its incarnation. 
The Etruscan " scacciamosche," a wooden handle 
with a bunch of fine leather strips fastened to it, 
proved the following : they had destroyed the 
most exalted poetic thoughts in the mind of 
^schylus ; they had caused the chisel of Phidias 
to make an irremediable slip, had run over the 
brow of Zeus, the breast of Aphrodite, and from 
head to foot of all Olympian gods and goddesses ; 
and Norbert felt in his soul that the service of 
a human being was to be estimated, above all, 
according to the number of flies which he had 
killed, pierced, burned up or exterminated in 
hecatombs during his life, as avenger of his whole 
race from remotest antiquity. 

For the achievement of such fame, he lacked 
here the necessary weapon, and like the greatest 
battle hero of antiquity, who had, however, been 
alone and unable to do otherwise, he left the field, 
or rather his room, in view of the hundredfold 
overwhelming number of the common foe. Out- 
side it dawned upon him that he had thereby done 
in a small way what he would have to repeat on 
a larger scale on the morrow. Pompeii, too, 
apparently offered no peacefully gratifying abode 
for his needs. To this idea was added, at least 


dimly, another, that his dissatisfaction was cer- 
tainly caused not by his surroundings alone, but 
to a degree found its origin in him. To be sure, 
flies had always been very repulsive to him, but 
they had never before transported him into such 
raging fury as this. On account of the journey 
his nerves were undeniably in an excited and 
irritable condition, for which indoor air and over- 
work at home during the winter had probably 
begun to pave the way. He felt that he was out 
of sorts because he lacked something without 
being able to explain what, and this ill-humour 
he took everywhere with him ; of course flies and 
bridal couples swarming en masse were not calcu- 
lated to make life agreeable anywhere. Yet if he 
did not wish to wrap himself in a thick cloud of 
self-righteousness, it could not remain concealed 
from him that he was travelling around Italy just 
as aimless, senseless, blind and deaf as they, only 
with considerably less capacity for enjoyment. 
For his travelling companion, science, had, most 
decidedly, much of an old Trappist about her, did 
not open her mouth when she was not spoken to, 
and it seemed to him that he was almost forgetting 
in what language he had communed with her. 

It was now too late in the day to go into Pompeii 
through the " ingresso." Norbert remembered a 
circuit he had once made on the old city-wall, and 
attempted to mount the latter by means of all 
sorts of bushes and wild growth. Thus he wan- 
dered along for some distance a little above the 
city of graves, which lay on his right, motionless 
and quiet. It looked like a dead rubbish field 
already almost covered with shadow, for the 


evening sun stood in the west not far from the 
edge of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Round about, on the 
other hand, it still bathed all the hilltops and fields 
with an enchanting brilliancy of life, gilded the 
smoke-cone rising above the Vesuvius crater and 
clad the peaks and pinnacles of Monte Sant' Angelo 
in purple. High and solitary rose Monte Epomeo 
from the sparkling, blue sea glittering with golden 
light, from which Cape Misenum reared itself with 
dark outline, like a mysterious, titanic structure. 
Wherever the gaze rested, a wonderful picture was 
spread combining charm and sublimity, remote 
past and joyous present. Norbert Hanold had 
expected to find here what he longed for vaguely. 
Yet he was not in the mood for it, although no 
bridal couples and flies molested him on the 
deserted wall ; even nature was unable to offer 
him what he lacked in his surroundings and within 
himself. With a calmness bordering closely on 
indifference, he let his eyes pass over the all- 
pervading beauty, and did not regret in the least 
that it was growing pale and fading away in the 
sunset, but returned to the " Diomed," as he had 
come, dissatisfied. 

But as he had now, although with ill-success, 
been conveyed to this place through his indiscre- 
tion, he reached the decision overnight, to get 
from the folly he had committed at least one day 
of scientific profit, and went to Pompeii on the 
regular road as soon as the " ingresso " was opened 
in the morning. In little groups commanded by 
official guides, armed with red Baedekers or their 


foreign cousins, longing for secret excavations of 
their own, there wandered before and behind him 
the population of the two hotels. The still fresh, 
morning air was filled almost exclusively by English 
or Anglo-American chatter ; the German couples 
were making each other mutually happy with 
German sweets and inspiration up there on Capri 
behind Monte Sant' Angelo at the breakfast table 
of the Pagano. Norbert remembered how to free 
himself soon, by well chosen words, combined with 
a good " mancia," from the burden of a " guida," 
and was able to pursue his purposes alone and 
unhindered. It afforded him some satisfaction to 
know that he possessed a faultless memory ; wher- 
ever his glance rested, everything lay and stood 
exactly as he remembered it, as if only yesterday 
he had imprinted it in his mind by means of expert 
observation. This continually repeated experience 
brought, however, the added feeling that his 
presence there seemed really very unnecessary, and 
a decided indifference took possession of his eyes 
and his intellect more and more, as during the 
evening on the wall. Although, when he looked 
up, the pine-shaped smoke-cone of Vesuvius gener- 
ally stood before him against the blue sky, yet, 
remarkably, it did not once appear in his memory 
that he had dreamed some time ago that he had 
been present at the destruction of Pompeii by the 
volcanic eruption of 79. Wandering around for 
hours made him tired and half-sleepy, of course, 
yet he felt not the least suggestion of anything 
dreamlike, but there lay about him only a con- 
fusion of fragments of ancient gate arches, pillars 
and walls significant to the highest degree for 


archaeology, but, viewed without the esoteric aid 
of this science, really not much else than a big 
pile of rubbish, neatly arranged, to be sure, but 
extremely devoid of interest ; and although science 
and dreams were wont formerly to stand on 
footings exactly opposed, they had apparently 
here to-day come to an agreement to withdraw 
their aid from Norbert Hanold and deliver him 
over absolutely to the aimlessness of his walking 
and standing around. 

So he had wandered in all directions from the 
Forum to the Amphitheatre, from the Porta di 
Stabia to the Porta del Vesuvio through the Street 
of Tombs as well as through countless others, and 
the sun had likewise, in the meanwhile, made its 
accustomed morning journey to the position where 
it usually changes to the more comfortable descent 
toward the sea. Thereby, to the great satisfaction 
of their misunderstood, hoarsely eloquent guides, 
it gave the English and American men and women, 
forced to go there by a traveller's sense of duty, 
a signal to become mindful of the superior comfort 
of sitting at the lunch-tables of the twin hotels ; 
besides, they had seen with their own eyes every- 
thing that could be required for conversation on 
the other side of the ocean and channel ; so the 
separate groups, satiated by the past, started on 
the return, ebbed in common movement down 
through the Via Marina, in order not to lose meals 
at the, to be siu'e somewhat euphemistically Lucul- 
lan, tables of the present, in the house of " Diomed " 
or of Mr. Swiss. In consideration of all the outer 
and inner circumstances, this was doubtless also 
the wisest thing that they could do, for the noon 


sun of May was decidedly well disposed toward 
the lizards, butterflies and other winged inhabi- 
tants or visitors of the extensive mass of ruins, but 
for the northern complexion of a Madame or Miss 
its perpendicular obtrusiveness was unquestionably 
beginning to become less kindly, and, supposedly 
in some causal connection with that, the " charm- 
ings " had already in the last hour considerably 
diminished, the " shockings " had increased in the 
same proportion, and the masculine " ah's " pro- 
ceeding from rows of teeth even more widely dis- 
tended than before had begun a noticeable 
transition to yawning. 

It was remarkable, however, that simultaneously 
with their vanishing, what had formerly been the 
city of Pompeii assumed an entirely changed 
appearance, but not a living one ; it now appeared 
rather to be becoming completely petrified in dead 
immobility. Yet out of it stirred a feeling that 
death was beginning to talk, although not in a 
manner intelligible to human ears. To be sure, 
here and there was a sound as if a whisper were 
proceeding from the stone which, however, only 
the softly murmuring south wind, Atabulus, awoke, 
he who, two thousand years ago, had buzzed in 
this fashion about the temples, halls and houses, 
and was now carrying on his playful game with 
the green, shimmering stalks on the low ruins. 
From the coast of Africa he often rushed across, 
casting forth wild, full blasts : he was not doing 
that to-day, but was gently fanning again the old 
acquaintances which had come to light again. He 
could not, however, refrain from his natiu-al ten- 
dency to devastate, and blew with hot breath, even 


though lightly, on everything that he encountered 
on the way. 

In this, the sun, his eternally youthful mother, 
helped him. She strengthened his fiery breath, 
and accomplished, besides, what he could not, 
steeped everything with trembling, glittering, 
dazzling splendour. As with a golden eraser, she 
effaced from the edges of the houses on the semitce 
and crepidine viarum, as the sidewalks were once 
called, every slight shadow, cast into all the 
vestibules, inner courts, peristyles and balconies 
her luminous radiance, or desultory rays where a 
shelter blocked her direct approach. Hardly any- 
where was there a nook which successfully protected 
itself against the ocean of light and veiled itself in 
a dusky, silver web ; every street lay between the 
old walls like long, rippling, white strips of linen 
spread out to bleach ; and without exception all 
were equally motionless and mute, for not only 
had the last of the rasping and nasal tones of the 
English and American messengers disappeared, but 
the former slight evidences of lizard- and butterfly- 
life seemed also to have left the silent city of ruins. 
They had not really done so, but the gaze perceived 
no more movement from them. 

As had been the custom of their ancestors out 
on the mountain slopes and cliff walls for thousands 
of years, when the great Pan laid himself to sleep, 
here, too, in order not to disturb him, they had 
stretched themselves out motionless or, folding their 
wings, had squatted here and there ; and it seemed 
as if, in this place, they felt even more strongly 
the command of the hot, holy, noonday quiet in 
whose ghostly hour life must be silent and sup- 


pressed, because during it the dead awake and 
begin to talk in toneless spirit-language. 

This changed aspect which the things round about 
had assumed really thrust itself less upon the vision 
than it aroused the emotions, or, more correctly, 
an unnamed sixth sense ; this latter, however, was 
stimulated so strongly and persistently that a 
person endowed with it could not throw off the 
effect produced upon him. To be sure, of those 
estimable boarders already busy with their soup 
spoons at the two " alberghi " near the " ingresso," 
hardly a man or woman would have been counted 
among those thus invested, but Nature had once 
bestowed this great attention upon Norbert Hanold 
and he had to submit to its effects, not at all because 
he had an understanding with it, however, for he 
wished nothing at all and desired nothing more 
than that he might be sitting quietly in his study 
with an instructive book in his hand, instead of 
having undertaken this aimless spring journey. 
Yet as he had turned back from the Street of 
Tombs through the Hercules gate into the centre 
of the city, and at Casa di Sallustio had turned to 
the left, quite without purpose or thought, into the 
narrow " vicolo," suddenly that sixth sense was 
awakened in him ; but this last expression was 
not really fitting, rather he was transported by it 
into a strangely dreamy condition, about half-way 
between a waking state and loss of senses. As if 
guarding a secret, everywhere round about him, 
suffused in light, lay deathly silence, so breathless 
that even his own lungs hardly dared to take in 
air. He stood at the intersection of two streets 
where the Vicolo Mercurio crossed the broader 


Strada di Mercurio, which stretched out to right 
and left ; in answer to the god of commerce, 
business and trades had formerly had their abodes 
here ; the street corners spoke silently of it ; many 
shops with broken counters, inlaid with marble, 
opened out upon them ; here the arrangement 
indicated a bakery, there, a number of large, convex, 
earthenware jugs, an oil or flour business. Opposite 
more slender, two-handled jars set into the counters 
showed that the space behind them had been a 
bar-room ; surely in the evening, slaves and maids 
of the neighbourhood might have thronged here to 
get wine for their masters in their own jugs ; one 
could see that the now illegible inscription inlaid 
with mosaic on the sidewalk in front of the shop 
was worn by many feet ; probably it had held out 
to passers-by a recommendation of the excellent 
wine. On the outer wall, at about half the height 
of a man, was visible a " graffito " probably 
scratched into the plastering, with his finger-nail 
or an iron nail, by a schoolboy, perhaps derisively 
explaining the praise, in this way, that the owner's 
wine owed its peerlessness to a generous addition of 
water. For from the scratch there seemed raised 
before Norbert Hanold's eyes the word " caupo," 
or was it an illusion. Certainly he could not settle 
it. He possessed a certain skill in deciphering 
" graffiti " which were difficult, and had already 
accomplished widely recognized work in that field, 
yet at this time it completely failed him. Not only 
that, he had a feeling that he did not understand 
any Latin, and it was absurd of him to wish to 
read what a Pompeiian school youth had scratched 
into the wall two thousand years before. 


Not only had all his science left him, but it 
left him without the least desire to regain it ; he 
remembered it as from a great distance, and he 
felt that it had been an old, dried-up, boresome 
aunt, dullest and most superfluous creature in the 
world. What she uttered with puckered lips and 
sapient mien, and presented as wisdom, was all vain, 
empty pompousness, and merely gnawed at the dry 
rind of the fruit of knowledge without revealing 
anything of its content, the germ of life, or bringing 
anything to the point of inner, intelligent enjoy- 
ment. What it taught was a lifeless, archaeological 
view, and what came from its mouth was a dead, 
philological language. These helped in no way to 
a comprehension with soul, mind and heart, as the 
saying is, but he, who possessed a desire for that, 
had to stand alone here, the only living person in 
the hot noonday silence among the remains of the 
past, in order not to see with physical eyes nor 
hear with corporeal ears. Then something came 
forth everywhere without movement and a soundless 
speech began ; then the sun dissolved the tomb- 
like rigidity of the old stones, a glowing thrill 
passed through them, the dead awoke, and Pompeii 
began to live again. 

The thoughts in Norbert Hanold's mind were not 
really blasphemous, but he had an indefinite feeling 
deserving of that adjective, and with this, standing 
motionless, he looked before him down the Strada 
di Mercurio toward the city-wall. The angular 
lava-blocks of its pavement still lay as faultlessly 
fitted together as before the devastation, and each 
one was of a light-grey colour, yet such dazzling 
lustre brooded over them that they stretched like 


a quilted silver-white ribbon passing in faintly 
glowing void between the silent walls and by the 
side of column fragments. 

Then suddenly — 

With open eyes he gazed along the street, yet it 
seemed to him as if he were doing it in a dream. 
A little to the right something suddenly stepped 
forth from the Casa di Castore e Polluce, and 
across the lava stepping-stones, which led from the 
house to the other side of the Strada di Mercurio, 
Gradiva stepped buoyantly. 

Quite indubitably it was she ; even if the sun- 
beams did surround her figure as with a thin veil 
of gold, he perceived her in profile as plainly and 
as distinctly as on the bas-relief. Her head, whose 
crown was entwined with a scarf which fell to her 
neck, inclined forward a little ; her left hand held 
up lightly the extremely voluminous dress and, as 
it reached only to her ankles, one cotdd perceive 
clearly that in advancing, the right foot, lingering, 
if only for a moment, rose on the tips of the toes 
almost perpendicularly. Here, however, it was not 
a stone representation, everything in uniform 
colourlessness ; the dress, apparently made of 
extremely soft, clinging material, was not of cold 
marble-white, but of a warm tone verging faintly 
on yellow, and her hair, wavy under the scarf on 
her brow, and peeping forth at the temples, stood 
out, with golden-brown radiance, in bold contrast 
to her alabaster countenance. 

As soon as he caught sight of her, Norbert's 
memory was clearly awakened to the fact that he 
had seen her here once already in a dream, walking 
thus, the night that she had lain down as if to 



sleep over there in the Forum on the steps of the 
Temple of Apollo. With this memory he became 
conscious, for the first time, of something else ; he 
had, without himself knowing the motive in his 
heart, come to Italy on that account and had, 
without stop, continued from Rome and Naples to 
Pompeii to see if he could here find trace of her — 
and that in a literal sense — for, with her unusual 
gait, she must have left behind in the ashes a 
foot-print different from all the others. 

Again it was a noonday dream-picture that passed 
there before him and yet also a reality. For that 
was apparent from an effect which it produced. 
On the last stepping-stone on the farther side, 
there lay stretched out motionless, in the burning 
sunlight, a big lizard, whose body, as if woven of 
gold and malachite, glistened brightly to Norbert's 
eyes. Before the approaching foot, however, it 
darted down suddenly and wriggled away over the 
white, gleaming lava pavement. 

Gradiva crossed the stepping-stones with her calm 
buoyancy, and now, turning her back, walked along 
on the opposite sidewalk ; her destination seemed 
to be the house of Adonis. Before it she stopped 
a moment, too, but passed then, as if after further 
deliberation, down farther through the Strada di 
Mercurio. On the left, of the more elegant build- 
ings, there now stood only the Casa di Apollo, 
named after the numerous representations of Apollo 
excavated there, and, to the man who was gazing 
after her, it seemed again that she had also surely 
chosen the portico of the Temple of Apollo for her 
death sleep. Probably she was closely associated 
with the cult of the sun-god and was going there. 


Soon, however, she stopped again ; stepping-stones 
crossed the street here, too, and she walked back 
again to the right side. Thus she turned the other 
side of her face toward him and looked a little 
different, for her left hand, which held up her 
gown, was not visible and instead of her curved 
arm, the right one hung down straight. At a 
greater distance now, however, the golden waves 
of sunlight floated around her with a thicker web 
of veiling, and did not allow him to distinguish 
where she had stopped, for she disappeared suddenly 
before the house of Meleager. Norbert Hanold still 
stood without having moved a limb. With his 
eyes, and this time with his corporeal ones, he had 
surveyed, step by step, her vanishing form. Now, 
at length, he drew a deep breath, for his breast 
too had remained almost motionless. 

Simultaneously the sixth sense, suppressing the 
others completely, held him absolutely in its sway. 
Had what had just stood before him been a product 
of his imagination or a reality ? 

He did not know that, nor whether he was awake 
or dreaming, and tried in vain to collect his thoughts. 
Then, however, a strange shudder passed down 
his spine. He saw and heard nothing, yet he felt 
from the secret inner vibrations that Pompeii had 
begun to live about him in the noonday hour of 
spirits, and so Gradiva lived again, too, and had 
gone into the house which she had occupied before 
the fateful August day of the year 79. 

From his former visit, he was acquainted with 
the Casa di Meleagro, had not yet gone there this 
time, however, but had merely stopped briefly in 
the Museo Nazionale of Naples before the wall 


paintings of Meleager and his Arcadian huntress 
companion, Atalanta, which had been found in the 
Strada di Mercurio in that house, and after which 
the latter had been named. Yet as he now again 
acquired the abihty to move and walked toward it, 
he began to doubt whether it really bore its name 
after the slayer of the Caledonian boar. He 
suddenly recalled a Greek poet, Meleager, who, to 
be sure, had probably lived about a century before 
the destruction of Pompeii. A descendant of his, 
however, might have come here and built the 
house for himself. That agreed with something 
else that had awakened in his memory, for he 
remembered his supposition, or rather a definite 
conviction, that Gradiva had been of Greek descent. 
To be sure there mingled with his idea the figure 
of Atalanta as Ovid had pictured it in his Meta- 
morphoses : 

— her floating vest 
A polished buckle clasped — her careless locks 
In simple knot were gathered — 

Trans, by Henry King. 

He could not recall the verses word for word, 
but their content was present in his mind ; and 
from his store of knowledge was added the fact 
that Cleopatra was the name of the young wife of 
CEneus' son, Meleager. More probably this had 
nothing to do with him, but with the Greek poet, 
Meleager. Thus, under the glowing sun of the 
Campagna, there was a mythological-literary- 
historical-archaeological juggling in his head. 

When he had passed the house of Castor and 
Pollux and that of the Centaur, he stood before 
the Casa di Meleagro from whose threshold there 


looked up at him, still discernible, the inlaid 
greeting " Ave." On the wall of the vestibule, 
Mercury was handing Fortuna a pouch filled with 
money ; that probably indicated, allegorically, the 
riches and other fortunate circumstances of the 
former dweller. Behind this opened up the inner 
court, the centre of which was occupied by a marble 
table supported by three griffins. 

Empty and silent, the room lay there, appearing 
absolutely unfamiliar to the man, as he entered, 
awaking no memory that he had already been 
here, yet he then recalled it, for the interior of the 
house offered a deviation from that of the other 
excavated buildings of the city. The peristyle 
adjoined the inner court on the other side of the 
balcony toward the rear — not in the usual way, but 
at the left side and on that account was of greater 
extent and more splendid appearance than any 
other in Pompeii. It was framed by a colonnade 
supported by two dozen pillars painted red on the 
lower, and white on the upper half. These lent 
solemnity to the great, silent space ; here in the 
centre was a spring with a beautifully wrought 
enclosure, which served as a fish-pool. Apparently 
the house must have been the dwelling of an 
estimable man of culture and artistic sense. 

Norbert's gaze passed around, and he listened. 
Yet nowhere about did anything stir, nor was the 
shghtest sound audible. Amidst this cold stone 
there was no longer a breath ; if Gradiva had gone 
into Meleager's house, she had already dissolved 
again into nothing. At the rear of the peristyle 
was another room, an oecus, the former dining- 
room, likewise surrounded on three sides by pillars 


painted yellow, which shimmered from a distance 
in the light, as if they were encrusted with gold. 
Between them, however, shone a red far more 
dazzling than that from the walls, with which no 
brush of antiquity, but young Nature of the present 
had painted the ground. The former artistic pave- 
ment lay completely ruined, fallen to decay and 
weather worn ; it was May which exercised here 
again its most ancient dominion and covered the 
whole cecus^ as it did at the time in many houses 
of the buried city, with red, flowering, wild poppies, 
whose seeds the winds had carried thither, and 
these had sprouted in the ashes. It was a wave 
of densely crowded blossoms, or so it appeared, 
although, in reality, they stood there motionless, 
for Atabulus found no way down to them, but only 
hummed away softly above. Yet the sun cast 
such flaming, radiant vibrations down upon them 
that it gave an impression of red ripples in a pond 
undulating hither and thither. Norbert Hanold's 
eyes had passed unheeding over a similar sight in 
other houses, but here he was strangely thrilled 
by it. The dream-flower grown at the edge of 
Lethe filled the space, and Hypnos lay stretched in 
their midst dispensing sleep, which dulls the senses, 
with the saps which night has gathered in the red 
chalices. It seemed to the man who had entered 
the dining-room through the portico of the peristyle 
as if he felt his temples touched by the invisible 
slumber wand of the old vanquisher of gods and 
men, but not with heavy stupor ; only a dreamily 
sweet loveliness floated about his consciousness. 
At the same time, however, he still remained in 
control of his feet and stepped along by the wall 


of the former dining-room from which gazed old 
pictures : Paris, awarding the apple ; a satyr, 
carrying in his hand an asp and tormenting a young 
Bacchante with it. 

But there again suddenly, unforeseen — only about 
five paces away from him — in the narrow shadow 
cast down by a single piece of the upper part of 
the dining-room portico, which still remained in a 
state of preservation, sitting on the low steps 
between two of the yellow pillars was a brightly clad 
woman who now raised her head. In that way she 
disclosed to the unnoticed arrival, whose footstep 
she had apparently just heard, a full view of her 
face, which produced in him a double feeling, for 
it appeared to him at the same time unknown and 
yet also familiar, already seen or imagined ; but 
by his arrested breathing and his heart palpitations, 
he recognized, unmistakably, to whom it belonged. 
He had found what he was looking for, what had 
driven him unconsciously to Pompeii ; Gradiva 
continued her visible existence in the noonday 
spirit hour and sat here before him, as, in the 
dream, he had seen her on the steps of the Temple 
of Apollo. Spread out on her knees lay something 
white, which he was unable to distinguish clearly ; 
it seemed to be a papyrus sheet, and a red poppy- 
blossom stood out from it in marked contrast. 

In her face surprise was expressed ; under the 
lustrous, brown hair and the beautiful, alabaster 
brow, two rarely bright, starlike eyes looked at 
him with questioning amazement. It required only 
a few moments for him to recognize the conformity 
of her features with those of the profile. They must 
be thus, viewed from the front, and therefore, at 


first glance, they had not been really unfamiliar 
to him. Near to, her white dress, by its slight 
tendency to yellow, heightened still more the warm 
colour ; apparently it consisted of a fine, extremely 
soft, woollen material, which produced abundant 
folds, and the scarf around her head was of the 
same. Below, on the nape of the neck, appeared 
again the shimmering, brown hair artlessly gathered 
in a single knot ; at her throat, under a dainty 
chin, a little gold clasp held her gown together. 

Norbert Hanold dimly perceived that invol- 
untarily he had raised his hand to his soft Panama 
hat and removed it ; and now he said in Greek, 
" Are you Atalanta, the daughter of Jason, or are 
you a descendant of the family of the poet, 
Meleager ? " 

Without giving an answer, the lady addressed 
looked at him silently with a calmly wise expression 
in her eyes, and two thoughts passed through his 
mind ; either her resurrected self could not speak, 
or she was not of Greek descent and was ignorant 
of the language. He therefore substituted Latin 
for it and asked : " Was your father a distinguished 
Pompeiian citizen of Latin origin ? " 

To this she was equally silent, only about her 
delicately curved lips there was a slight quiver as 
if she were repressing a burst of laughter. Now 
a feeling of fright came upon him ; apparently 
she was sitting there before him like a silent image, 
a phantom to whom speech was denied. Con- 
sternation at this discovery was stamped fully 
and distinctly upon his features. 

Then, however, her lips could no longer resist 
the impulse ; a real smile played about them and 


at the same time a voice sounded from between 
them, " If you wish to speak with me, you must 
do so in German." 

That was really remarkable from the mouth of 
a Pompeiian woman who had died two centuries 
before, or would have been so for a person hearing 
it in a different state of mind. Yet every oddity 
escaped Norbert because of two waves of emotion 
which had rushed over him, one because Gradiva 
possessed the power of speech, and the other was 
one which had been forced from his inmost being 
by her voice. It sounded as clear as was her 
glance ; not sharp, but reminiscent of the tones of 
a bell, her voice passed through the sunny silence 
over the blooming poppy-field, and the young 
archaeologist suddenly realized that he had already 
heard it thus in his imagination, and involuntarily 
he gave audible expression to his feeling, " I knew 
that your voice sounded like that." 

One could read in her countenance that she was 
seeking comprehension of something, but was not 
finding it. To his last remark she now responded, 
" How could you ? You have never talked with 

To him it was not at all remarkable that she 
spoke German, and, according to present usage, 
addressed him formally ; as she did it, he under- 
stood completely that it could not have happened 
otherwise, and he answered quickly, "No — not 
talked — but I called to you when you lay down 
to sleep and stood near you then — your face was 
as calmly beautiful as if it were of marble. May 
I beg you — rest it again on the step in that way." 
While he was speaking, something peculiar had 


occurred. A golden butterfly, faintly tinged with 
red on the inner edge of its upper wing, fluttered 
from the poppies toward the pillars, flitted a few 
times about Gradiva's head and then rested on 
the brown, wavy hair above her brow. At the 
same time, however, she rose, slender and tall, 
for she stood up with deliberate haste, curtly and 
silently directed at Norbert another glance, in 
which something suggested that she considered 
him demented ; then, thrusting her foot forward, 
she walked out in her characteristic way along the 
pillars of the old portico. Only fleetingly visible 
for a while, she finally seemed to have sunk into 
the earth. 

He stood up, breathless, as if stunned ; yet with 
heavy understanding he had grasped what had 
occurred before his eyes. The noonday ghost hour 
was over, and in the form of a butterfly, a winged 
messenger had come up from the asphodel meadows 
of Hades to admonish the departed one to return. 
For him something else was associated with this, 
although in confused indistinctness. He knew that 
the beautiful butterfly of Mediterranean countries 
bore the name Cleopatra, and this had also been 
the name of Caledonian Meleager's young wife 
who, in grief over his death, had given herself 
as sacrifice to those of the lower world. 

From his mouth issued a call to the girl who 
was departing, " Are you coming here again to- 
morrow in the noon hour ? " Yet she did not turn 
around, gave no answer, and disappeared after a 
few moments in the corner of the dining-room 
behind the pillar. Now a compelling impulse 
suddenly incited him to hasten after her, but her 


bright dress was no longer visible anywhere ; 
glowing with the hot sun's rays, the Casa di 
Meleagro lay about him motionless and silent ; 
only Cleopatra hovered on her red, shimmering, 
golden wings, making slow circles again above the 
multitude of poppies. 

When and how he had returned to the " ingresso," 
Norbert Hanold could not recall ; in his memory 
he retained only the idea that his appetite had 
peremptorily demanded to be appeased, though 
very tardily, at the " Diomed," and then he had 
wandered forth aimlessly on the first good street, 
had arrived at the beach north of Castellamare, 
where he had seated himself on a lava-block, and 
the sea-wind had blown around his head until the 
sun had set about half-way between Monte Sant' 
Angelo above Sorrento and Monte Epomeo on 
Ischia. Yet, in spite of this stay of at least several 
hours by the water, he had obtained from the 
fresh air there no mental relief, but was returning 
to the hotel in the same condition in which he 
had left it. He found the other guests busily 
occupied with dinner, had a little bottle of Vesuvio 
wine brought to him in a corner of the room, viewed 
the faces of those eating, and listened to their 
conversations. From the faces of all, as well as 
from their talk, it appeared to him absolutely 
certain that in the noon hour nonfe of them had 
either met or spoken to a dead Pompeiian woman 
who had returned again briefly to life. Of course, 
all this had been a foregone conclusion, as they 
had all been at lunch at that time ; why and 


wherefore, he himself could not state, yet after a 
while he went over to the competitor of the 
" Diomed," " Hotel Suisse," sat down there also in 
a corner, and, as he had to order something, likewise 
before a little bottle of Vesuvio, and here he gave 
himself over to the same kind of investigations 
with eye and ear. They led to the same results 
but also to the further conclusion that he now 
knew by sight all the temporary, living visitors 
of Pompeii. To be sure, this effected an increase 
of his knowledge which he could hardly consider 
an enrichment, but from it he experienced a certain 
satisfying feeling that, in the two hostelries, no 
guest, either male or female, was present with 
whom, by means of sight and hearing, he had not 
entered into a personal, even if one-sided, relation. 
Of course, in no way had the absurd supposition 
entered his mind that he might possibly meet 
Gradiva in one of the two hotels, but he could 
have taken his oath that no one was staying in 
them who possessed, in the remotest way, any trace 
of resemblance to her. During his observations, 
he had occasionally poured wine from his little 
bottle to his glass, and had drunk from time to 
time ; and when, in this manner, the former had 
gradually become empty, he rose and went back 
to the " Diomed." The heavens were now strewn 
with countless, flashing, twinkling stars, but not 
in the traditionally stationary way, for Norbert 
gathered the impression that Perseus, Cassiopeia 
and Andromeda with some neighbours, bowing 
lightly hither and thither, were performing a 
singing dance, and below, on earth, too, it seemed 
to him that the dark shadows of the tree-tops and 


buildings did not stay in the same place. Of course 
on the ground of this region — unsteady from ancient 
times — this could not be exactly surprising, for the 
subterranean glow lurked everywhere, after an 
eruption, and let a little of itself rise in the vines 
and grapes from which was pressed Vesuvio, which 
was not one of Norbert Hanold's usual evening 
drinks. He still remembered, however, even if a 
little of the circular movement of things might be 
ascribed to the wine, too, that since noon all objects 
had displayed an inclination to whirl softly about 
his head, and therefore he found, in the slight 
increase, nothing new, but only a continuation of 
the formerly existing conditions. He went up to 
his room and stood for a little while at the open 
window, looking over toward the Vesuvius mound, 
above which now no cone of smoke spread its top, 
but rather something like the fluctuations of a 
dark, purple cloak flowed back and forth around it. 
Then the young archaeologist undressed, without 
having lighted the light, and sought his couch. 
Yet, as he stretched himself out upon it, it was 
not his bed at the "Diomed," but a red poppy-field 
whose blossoms closed over him like a soft cushion 
heated by the sun. His enemy, the common house- 
fly, constrained by darkness to lethargic stupidity, 
sat fiftyfold above his head, on the wall, and only 
one moved, even in its sleepiness, by desire to 
torture, buzzed about his nose. He recognized it, 
however, not as the absolute evil, the century-old 
scourge of humanity, for before his eyes it poised 
like a red-gold Cleopatra. 

When, in the morning, the sun, with lively 
assistance from the flies, awoke him, he could not 


recall what, besides strange, Ovid-like metamor- 
phoses, had occurred during the night about his 
bed. Yet doubtless some mystic being, contin- 
uously weaving dream-webs, had been sitting beside 
him, for he felt his head completely overhung and 
filled with them, so that all ability to think lay 
inextricably imprisoned in it and only one thing 
remained in his consciousness ; he must again be 
in Meleager's house at exactly noon. In this con- 
nection, however, a fear overcame him, for if the 
gatekeepers at the " ingresso " looked at him, they 
would not let him in. Anyivay it was not advisable 
that he should expose himself to close observation 
by human eyes. To escape that, there was, for 
one well informed about Pompeii, a means which 
was, to be sure, against the rules, but he was not 
in a condition to grant to legal regulation a deter- 
mination of his conduct. So he climbed again, 
as on the evening of his arrival, along the old 
city-wall, and upon it walked, in a wide semicircle, 
around the city of ruins to the solitary, unguarded 
Porta di Nola. Here it was not difficult to get 
down into the inside and he went, without burdening 
his conscience very much over the fact that by 
his autocratic deed he had deprived the administra- 
tion of a two-lira entrance fee, which he could, 
of course, let it have later in some other way. 

Thus, unseen, he had reached an uninteresting 
part of the city, never before investigated by any 
one and still mostly unexcavated ; he sat down in 
a secluded, shady nook and waited, now and then 
drawing his watch to observe the progress of time. 
Once his glance fell upon something in the distance 
gleaming, silvery-white, rising from the ashes, but 


with his unreliable vision, he was unable to dis- 
tinguish what it was. Yet involuntarily he was 
impelled to go up to it and there it stood, a 
tall, flowering asphodel-plant with white, bell-like 
blossoms whose seeds the wind had carried thither 
from outside. It was the flower of the lower 
world, significant and, as he felt, destined to grow 
here for his purpose. He broke the slender stem 
and returned with it to his seat. Hotter and hotter 
the May sun burned down as on the day before, 
and finally approached its noonday position ; so 
now he started out through the long Strada di 
Nola. This lay deathly still and deserted, as did 
almost all the others ; over there to the west all 
the morning visitors were already crowding again 
to the Porta Marina and the soup-plates. Only 
the air, suffused with heat, stirred, and in the 
dazzling glare the solitary figure of Norbert Hanold 
with the asphodel branch appeared like that of 
Hermes, Psyche's escort, in modern attire, starting 
out upon the journey to conduct a departed soul 
to Hades. 

Not consciously, yet following an instinctive 
impulse, he found his way through the Strada della 
Fortuna farther along to the Strada di Mercurio, 
and turning to the right arrived at the Casa di 
Meleagro. Just as lifelessly as yesterday, the 
vestibule, inner court and peristyle received him, 
and between the pillars of the latter the poppies 
of the dining-room flamed across to him. As he 
entered, however, it was not clear to him whether 
he had been here yesterday or two thousand years 
ago to seek from the owner of the house some 
information of great importance to archaeology ; 


what it was, however, he could not state, and 
besides, it seemed to him, even though in contra- 
diction to the above, that all the science of antiquity 
was the most purposeless and indifferent thing in 
the world. He could not understand how a human 
being could occupy himself with it, for there was 
only a single thing to which all thinking and 
investigation must be directed : what is the nature 
of the physical manifestation of a being like Gradiva, 
dead and alive at the same time, although the 
latter was true only in the noon hoiu* of spirits — 
or had been the day before, perhaps the one time 
in a century or a thousand years, for it suddenly 
seemed certain that his return to-day was in vain. 
He did not meet the girl he was looking for, because 
she was not allowed to come again until a time 
when he too would have been dead for many 
years, and was buried and forgotten. Of course, 
as he walked now along by the wall below Paris 
awarding the apple, he perceived Gradiva before 
him, just as on yesterday, in the same gown, 
sitting between the same two yellow pillars on 
the same step. Yet he did not allow himself to 
be deceived by tricks of imagination, but knew 
that fancy alone was deceptively depicting before 
his eyes what he had really seen there the day 
before. He could not refrain, however, from stop- 
ping to indulge in the view of the shadowy apparition 
created by himself and, without his knowing it, 
there passed from his lips in a grieved tone the 
words, " Oh, that you were still alive ! " 

His voice rang out, but, after that, breathless 
silence again reigned among the ruins of the old 
dining-room. Yet soon another sounded through 


the vacant stillness, saying, " Won't you sit down 
too ? You look exhausted." 

Norbert Hanold's heart stood still a moment. 
His head, however, collected this much reason ; a 
vision could not speak ; or was an aural hallucina- 
tion practising deception upon him ? With fixed 
gaze, he supported himself against the pillar. 

Then again asked the voice, and it was the one 
which none other than Gradiva possessed, " Are 
you bringing me the white flowers ? " 

Dizziness rushed upon him ; he felt that his feet 
no longer supported him, but forced him to be 
seated ; and he slid down opposite her on the step, 
against the pillar. Her bright eyes were directed 
toward his face, yet with a different look from the 
one with which she had gazed at him yesterday 
when she suddenly rose and went away. In that, 
something ill-humoured and repellent had spoken ; 
but it had disappeared, as if she had, in the mean- 
while, arrived at a different view-point, and an 
expression of searching inquisitiveness or curiosity 
had taken its place. Likewise, she spoke with an 
easy familiarity. As he remained silent, however, 
to the last question also, she again resumed, " You 
told me yesterday that you had once called to me 
when I lay down to sleep and that you had after- 
wards stood near me ; my face was as white as 
marble. When and where was that ? I cannot 
remember it, and I beg you to explain more 

Norbert had now acquired enough power of 
speech to answer, " In the night when you sat on 
the steps of the Temple of Apollo in the Forum 
and the fall of ashes from Vesuvius covered you." 



" So — then. Yes, to be sure— that had not 
occurred to me, but I might have thought that it 
would be a case Hke that. When you said it 
yesterday, I was not expecting it, and I was utterly 
unprepared. Yet that happened, if I recall 
correctly, two thousand years ago. Were you 
living then ? It seems to me you look younger." 

She spoke very seriously, but at the end a faint, 
extremely sweet smile played about her mouth. 
He hesitated in embarrassment and answered, 
stuttering slightly, " No, I really don't believe I 
was alive in the year 79 — it was perhaps— yes, it 
surely is a psychic condition which is called a 
dream that transported me into the time of the 
destruction of Pompeii — but I recognized you again 
at first glance." 

In the expression of the girl sitting opposite 
him, a few feet away, surprise was apparent, and 
she repeated in a tone of amazement, " You 
recognized me again ? In the dream ? By 
what ? " 

" At the very first ; by your manner of walking." 

" Had you noticed that ? And have I a special 
manner of walking ? " 

Her astonishment had grown perceptibly. He 
replied, " Yes — don't you realize that ? A more 
graceful one — at least among those now living — 
does not exist. Yet I recognized you immediately 
by everything else too, your figure, face, bearing 
and drapery, for everything agreed most minutely 
with the bas-relief of you in Rome." 

" Ah, really — " she repeated in her former 
tone — " with the bas-relief of me in Rome. Yes, 
I hadn't thought of that either, and at this moment 


I don't know exactly— what is it— and you saw it 
there then ? " 

Now he told her that the sight of it had 
attracted him so that he had been highly pleased 
to get a plaster-cast of it in Germany, and that 
for years it had hung in his room. He observed it 
daily, and the idea had come to him that it must 
represent a young Pompeiian girl who was walking 
on the stepping-stones of a street in her native 
city ; and the dream had confirmed it. Now he 
knew also that he had been impelled by it to travel 
here again to see whether he could find some trace 
of her ; and as he had stood yesterday noon at 
the corner of Strada di Mercurio, she, herself, 
exactly like her image, had suddenly walked before 
him across the stepping-stones, as if she were about 
to go over into the house of Apollo. Then farther 
along she had recrossed the street and disappeared 
before the house of Meleager. 

To this she nodded and said, " Yes, I intended 
to look up the house of Apollo, but I came here." 

He continued, " On that account the Greek poet, 
Meleager, came to my mind, and I thought that 
you were one of his descendants and were returning 
— in the hour which you are allowed — to your 
ancestral home. When I spoke to you in Greek, 
however, you did not understand." 

" Was that Greek ? No, I don't understand it 
or I've probably forgotten it. Yet as you came 
again just now, I heard you say something that 
I could understand. You expressed the wish that 
some one might still be alive here. Only I did not 
understand whom you meant by that." 

That caused him to reply that, at sight of her, 


he had believed that it was not really she, but that 
his imagination was deceptively putting her image 
before him in the place where he had met her 
yesterday. At that she smiled and agreed, " It 
seems that you have reason to be on your guard 
against an excess of imagination, although, when 
I have been with you, I never supposed so." She 
stopped, however, and added, " What is there 
peculiar about my way of walking, which you 
spoke of before ? " 

It was noteworthy that her aroused interest 
brought her back to that, and he said, " If I may 
ask " 

With that he stopped, for he suddenly remembered 
with fear that yesterday she had suddenly risen 
and gone away when he had asked her to lie down 
to sleep again on that step, as on that of the Temple 
of Apollo, and, associated darkly with this, there 
came to him the glance which she had directed 
upon him in departing. Yet now the calm, friendly 
expression of her eyes remained, and as he spoke 
no further, she said, " It was nice that your wish 
that some one might still be alive concerned me. 
If you wish to ask anything of me on that account, 
I will gladly respond." 

That overcame his fear, and he replied, " It 
would make me happy to get a close view of you 
walking as you do in the bas-relief." 

Willingly, without answering, she stood up and 
walked along between the wall and the pillars. It 
was the very buoyantly reposeful gait, with the 
sole raised almost perpendicularly, that was so 
firmly imprinted on his mind, but for the first time 
he saw that she wore, below the raised gown, not 


sandals, but light, sand-coloured shoes of fine 
leather. When she came back and sat down again 
silently, he involuntarily started to talk of the 
difference in her foot-covering from that of the 
bas-relief. To that she rejoined, " Time, of course, 
always changes everything, and for the present 
sandals are not suitable, so I put on shoes, which 
are a better protection against rain and dust ; but 
why did you ask me to walk before you ? What is 
there peculiar about it ? " 

Her repeated wish to learn this proved her not 
entirely free from feminine curiosity. He now 
explained that it was a matter of the peculiarly 
upright position of the rising foot, as she walked, 
and he added how for weeks he had tried to observe 
the gait of modern women on the streets in his 
native city. Yet it seemed that this beautiful way 
of walking had been completely lost to them, with 
the exception, perhaps, of a single one who had 
given him the impression that she walked in that 
way. To be sure, he had not been able to establish 
this fact because of the crowd about her, and he 
had probably experienced an illusion, for it had 
seemed to him that her features had resembled 
somewhat those of Gradiva. 

*' What a shame," she answered. " For con- 
firmation of the fact would surely have been of 
great scientific importance, and if you had suc- 
ceeded, perhaps you would not have needed to take 
the long journey here ; but whom were you just 
speaking of ? Who is Gradiva ? " 

" I have named the bas-relief that, because I 
didn't know your real name, and don't know it yet, 


This last he added with some hesitancy, and she 
faltered a moment before replying to the indirect 
question. " My name is Zoe." 

With pained tone the words escaped him : " The 
name suits you beautifully, but it sounds to me 
like bitter mockery, for ' Zoe ' means ' life.' " 

" One must adapt himself to the inevitable," she 
responded, " and I have long accustomed myself to 
being dead ; but now my time is over for to-day ; 
you have brought the grave-flower with you to 
conduct me back. So give it to me." 

As she rose and stretched forth her slender hand, 
he gave her the asphodel cluster, but was careful 
not to touch her fingers. Accepting the flowering 
branch she said, " I thank you. To those who are 
more fortunate one gives roses in spring, but for 
me the flower of oblivion is the right one from your 
hand. To-morrow I shall be allowed to come here 
again at this hour. If your way leads you again 
into the house of Meleager, we can sit together at 
the edge of the poppies, as we did to-day. On 
the threshold stands ' Ave,' and I say it to you 
' Ave ' ! " 

She went out and disappeared, as yesterday, at 
the turn in the portico, as if she had there sunk 
into the ground. Everything lay empty and silent 
again, but, from some distance, there once rang, 
short and clear, a sound like the merry note of a 
bird flying over the devastated city. This was 
stifled immediately, however. Norbert, who had 
remained behind, looked down at the step where 
she had just been sitting ; there something white 
shimmered ; it seemed to be the papyrus leaf which 
Gradiva had held on her knees yesterday and had 


forgotten to take with her to-day. Yet, as he 
shyly reached for it, he found it to be a httle sketch- 
book with pencil drawings of the different ruins 
in several houses of Pompeii. The page next to the 
last showed a drawing of the griffin-table in the 
central court of the Casa di Meleagro, and on 
the last was the beginning of a reproduction of 
the view across the poppies of the dining-room 
through the row of pillars of the peristyle. That 
the departed girl made drawings in a sketch-book 
of the present mode was as amazing as had been 
the fact that she expressed her thoughts in German. 
Yet those were only insignificant prodigies beside 
the great one of her revivification, and apparently 
she used the midday hour of freedom to preserve for 
herself, in their present state, with unusual artistic 
talent, the surroundings in which she had once 
lived. The drawings testified to delicately culti- 
vated powers of perception, as each of her words 
did to a clever intellect ; and she had probably 
often sat by the old griffin-table, so that it was a 
particularly precious reminder. 

Mechanically Norbert also went, with the little 
book, along the portico, and at the place where this 
turned he noticed in the wall a narrow cleft wide 
enough to afford, to an unusually slender figure, 
passage into the adjoining building, and even 
farther to the Vicolo del Fauno at the other side 
of the house. Suddenly, however, the idea flashed 
through his mind that Zoe-Gradiva did not sink 
into the ground here— that was essentially unrea- 
sonable, and he could not understand how he had 
ever believed it— but went, on this street, back to 
her tomb. That must be in the Street of Tombs, 


and rushing forth, he hastened out into the Strada 
di Mercurio and as far as the gate of Hercules ; 
but when, breathless and reeking with perspiration, 
he entered this, it was already too late. The broad 
Strada di Sepolcri stretched out empty and dazz- 
lingly white, only at its extremity, behind the 
glimmering curtain of radiance, a faint shadow 
seemed to dissolve uncertainly before the Villa of 

Norbert Hanold passed the second half of the 
day with a feeling that Pompeii was everywhere, 
or at least wherever he stopped, veiled in a cloud 
of mist. It was not grey, gloomy and melancholy 
as formerly, but rather cheerful and vari-coloured 
to an extraordinary degree ; blue, red and brown, 
chiefly a light-yellowish white and alabaster white, 
interwoven with golden threads of sunbeams. This 
injured neither his power of vision nor that of 
hearing, only, because of it, thinking was impossible, 
and that produced a cloud-wall whose effect rivalled 
the thickest mist. To the young archaeologist it 
seemed almost as if hourly, in an invisible and not 
otherwise noticeable way, there was brought to 
him a little bottle of Vesuvio wine, which produced 
a continuous whirling in his head. From this he 
instinctively sought to free himself by the use of 
correctives, on the one hand drinking water fre- 
quently, and on the other hand moving about as 
much and as far as possible. His knowledge of 
medicine was not comprehensive, but it helped him 
to the diagnosis that this strange condition must 
arise from excessive congestion of blood in his 


head, perhaps associated with accelerated action 
of the heart ; for he felt the latter — something 
formerly quite unknown to him — occasionally beat- 
ing fast against his chest. Otherwise, his thoughts, 
which could not penetrate into the outer world, 
were not in the least inactive within, or more 
exactly, there was only one thought there, which 
had come into sole possession and carried on a 
restless, though vain activity. It continually turned 
about the question of what physical nature Zoe- 
Gradiva might possess, whether during her stay in 
the house of Meleager she was a corporeal being or 
only an illusory representation of what she had 
formerly been. For the former, physical, physio- 
logical and anatomical facts seemed to argue that 
she had at her disposal organs of speech, and could 
hold a pencil with her fingers. Yet Norbert was 
overwhelmed with the idea that if he should touch 
her, even lightly place his hand on hers, he would 
then encounter only empty air. A peculiar impulse 
urged him to make sure of this, but an equally 
great timidity hindered him from even thinking of 
doing it. For he felt that the confirmation of either 
of the two possibilities must bring with it some- 
thing inspiring fear. The corporeal existence of 
the hand would thrill him with horror, and its 
lack of substance would cause him deep pain. 

Occupied vainly with this problem, which was 
impossible to solve scientifically without experi- 
ment, he arrived, in the course of his extensive 
wanderings that afternoon, at the foothills of the 
big mountain group of Monte Sant' Angelo, rising 
south from Pompeii, and here he unexpectedly 
came upon an elderly man^ already grey-bearded, 


who, from his equipment with all sorts of imple- 
ments, seemed to be a zoologist or botanist, and 
appeared to be making a search on a hot, sunny 
slope. He turned his head as Norbert came close 
to him, looked at the latter in surprise for a moment 
and then said, " Are you interested in Faraglion- 
ensis ? I should hardly have supposed it, but it 
seems thoroughly probable that they are found, 
not only in the Faraglioni of Capri, but also 
dwell permanently on the mainland. The method 
suggested by my colleague, Eimer, is really good ; 
I have already used it often with the best of success. 

Please remain quite still " 

The speaker stopped, stepped carefully forward 
a few paces and, stretched out motionless on the 
ground, held a little snare, made of a long grass- 
blade, before a narrow crevice in the rock, from 
which the blue, chatoyant little head of a lizard 
peeped. Thus the man remained without the 
slightest movement, and Norbert Hanold turned 
about noiselessly behind him and returned by the 
way he had come. It seemed to him dimly that 
he had already seen the face of the lizard-hunter 
once, probably in one of the two hotels ; to this 
fact the latter 's manner pointed. It was hardly 
credible what foolishly remarkable purposes could 
cause people to make the long trip to Pompeii ; 
happy that he had succeeded in so quickly ridding 
himself of the snare-layer, and being again able 
to direct his thoughts to the problem of corporeal 
reality or unreality, he started on the return. Yet 
a side street misled him once to a WTong turn 
and took him, instead of to the west boundary, to 
the east end of the extensive old city-wall ; buried 


in thought, he did not notice the mistake until he 
had come right up to a building which was neither 
the " Diomed " nor the " Hotel Suisse." In spite 
of this it bore the sign of an hotel ; near by he 
recognized the ruins of the large Pompeiian amphi- 
theatre, and the memory came to him that near 
this latter there was another hotel, the " Albergo del 
Sole," which, on account of its remoteness from the 
station, was sought out by only a few guests, and 
had remained unknown to even him. The walk 
had made him hot ; besides, the cloudy whirling 
in his head had not diminished ; so he stepped in 
through the open door and ordered the remedy 
deemed useful by him for blood congestion, a bottle 
of lime-water. The room stood empty except, of 
course, for the fly-visitors gathered in full numbers, 
and the unoccupied host availed himself of the 
opportunity to recommend highly his house and 
the excavated treasures it contained. He pointed 
suggestively to the fact that there were, near 
Pompeii, people at whose places there was not a 
single genuine piece among the many objects 
offered for sale, but that all were imitations, while 
he, satisfying himself with a smaller number, offered 
his guests only things undoubtedly genuine. For 
he acquired no articles which he himself had not 
seen brought to the light of day, and, in the course 
of his eloquence, he revealed that he had also been 
present when they had found near the Forum the 
young lovers who had clasped each other in firm 
embrace when they realized their inevitable destruc- 
tion, and had thus awaited death. Norbert had 
already heard of this discovery, but had shrugged 
his shoulders about it as a fabulous invention of 


some especially imaginative narrator, and he did 
so now, too, when the host brought in to him, as 
authentic proof, a metal brooch encrusted with 
green patina, which, in his presence, had been 
gathered with the remains of the girl from the 
ashes. When the arrival at the " Sun Hotel" took it 
in his own hand, however, the power of imagination 
exercised such ascendency over him that suddenly, 
without further critical consideration, he paid for 
it the price asked from Enghsh people, and, with his 
acquisition, hastily left the " Albergo del Sole," in 
which, after another turn, he saw in an open window, 
nodding down, an asphodel branch covered with 
white blossoms, which had been placed in a water- 
glass ; and without needing any logical connection, 
it rushed through his mind, at the sight of the grave- 
flower, that it was an attestation of the genuineness 
of his new possession. 

This he viewed with mingled feelings of excite- 
ment and shyness, keeping now to the way along 
the city-wall to Porta Marina. Then it was no 
fairy tale that a couple of young lovers had been 
excavated near the Forum in such an embrace, 
and there at the Apollo temple he had seen Gradiva 
lie down to sleep, but only in a dream ; that he 
knew now quite definitely ; in reality she might 
have gone on still farther from the Forum, met 
some one and died with him. 

From the green brooch between his fingers a 
feeling passed through him that it had belonged to 
Zoe-Gradiva, and had held her dress closed at the 
throat. Then she was the beloved fiancee, perhaps 
the young wife of him with whom she had wished 
to die. 


It occurred to Norbert Hanold to hurl the brooch 
away. It burned his fingers as if it had become 
glowing, or more exactly, it caused him the pain 
such as he had felt at the idea that he might put 
his hand on that of Gradiva and encounter only 
empty air. 

Reason, nevertheless, asserted the upper hand ; 
he did not allow himself to be controlled by 
imagination against his will. However probable it 
might be, there was still lacking invincible proof 
that the brooch had belonged to her and that it 
had been she who had been discovered in the young 
man's arms. This judgment made it possible for 
him to breathe freely, and when at the dawn of twi- 
light he reached the " Diomed," his long wandering 
had brought to his sound constitution need of 
physical refreshment. Not without appetite did he 
devour the rather Spartan evening meal which the 
" Diomed," in spite of its Argive origin, had adopted, 
and he then noticed two guests newly-arrived in 
the course of the afternoon. By appearance and 
language they marked themselves as Germans, a 
man and a woman ; they both had youthful, attrac- 
tive features endowed with intellectual expressions ; 
their relation to each other could not be determined, 
yet, because of a certain resemblance, Norbert 
decided that they were brother and sister. To 
be sure the young man's fair hair differed in colour 
from her light-brown tresses. In her gown she 
wore a red Sorrento rose, the sight of which, as 
he looked across from his corner, stirred something 
in his memory without his being able to think what 
it was. The couple were the first people he had 
met on his journey who seemed possibly congenial. 


They talked with one another, over a little bottle, 
in not too plainly audible tones, nor in cautious 
whisperings, apparently sometimes about serious 
things and sometimes about gay things, for at 
times there passed over her face a half-laughing 
expression which was very becoming to her, and 
aroused the desire to participate in their conversa- 
tion, or perhaps might have awakened it in Norbert, 
if he had met them two days before in the room 
otherwise populated only by Anglo-Americans. Yet 
he felt that what was passing through his mind 
stood in too strong contrast to the happy naivete 
of the couple about whom there undeniably lay 
not the slightest cloud, for they doubtless were not 
meditating profoundly over the essential nature of 
a girl who had died two thousand years ago, but, 
without any weariness, were taking pleasure in 
an enigmatical problem of their life of the present. 
His condition did not harmonize with that ; on the 
one hand he seemed superfluous to them, and on 
the other, he recoiled from an attempt to start 
an acquaintance with them, for he had a dark 
feeling that their bright, merry eyes might look 
through his forehead into his thoughts and thereby 
assume an expression as if they did not consider 
him quite in his right mind. Therefore he went 
up to his room, stood, as yesterday, at the window, 
looking over to the purple night-mantle of Vesuvius, 
and then he lay down to rest. Exhausted, he soon 
fell asleep and dreamed, but remarkably non- 
sensically. Somewhere in the sun Gradiva sat 
making a trap out of a blade of grass in order to 
catch a lizard, and she said, " Please stay quite 
still — my colleague is right ; the method is really 


good, and she has used it with the greatest 

Norbert Hanold became conscious in his dream 
that it was actually the most utter madness, and he 
cast about to free himself from it. He succeeded 
in this by the aid of an invisible bird, who seemingly 
uttered a short, merry call, and carried the lizard 
away in its beak; afterwards everything disappeared. 

On awakening he remembered that in the night 
a voice had said that in the spring one gave roses, 
or rather this was recalled to him through his eyes, 
for his gaze, passing down from the window, came 
upon a bright bush of red flowers. They were of 
the same kind as those which the young lady had 
worn in her bosom, and when he went down he 
involuntarily plucked a couple and smelled of 
them. In fact, there must be something peculiar 
about Sorrento roses, for their fragrance seemed to 
him not only wonderful, but quite new and un- 
familiar, and at the same time he felt that they 
had a somewhat liberating effect upon his mind. 
At least they freed him from yesterday's timidity 
before the gatekeepers, for he went, according to 
directions, in through the " ingresso " to Pompeii, 
paid double the amount of admission fee, and 
quickly struck out upon streets which took him 
from the vicinity of other visitors. The little 
sketch-book from the house of Meleager he carried 
along with the green brooch and the red roses, 
but the fragrance of the latter had made him forget 
to eat breakfast, and his thoughts were not in the 
present, but were directed exclusively to the noon 


hour, which was still far off ; he had to pass the 
remaining interval, and for this purpose he entered 
now one house, now another, as a result of which 
activity the idea probably occurred to him that 
Gradiva had also walked there often before or even 
now sought these places out sometimes — his sup- 
position that she was able to do it only at noon 
was tottering. Perhaps she was at liberty to do 
it in other hours of the day, possibly even at night 
in the moonlight. The roses strengthened this 
supposition strangely for him, when he inhaled, as 
he held them to his nose ; and his dehberations, 
complaisant, and open to conviction, made advances 
to this new idea, for he could bear witness that he 
did not cling to preconceived opinions at all, but 
rather gave free rein to every reasonable objection, 
and such there was here without any doubt, not 
only logically, but desirably valid. Only the 
question arose whether, upon meeting her then, 
the eyes of others could see her as a corporeal 
being, or whether only his possessed the ability to 
do that. The former was not to be denied, claimed 
even probability for itself, transformed the desirable 
thing into quite the opposite, and transported him 
into a low-spirited, restless mood. The thought 
that others might also speak to her and sit down 
near her to carry on a conversation with her made 
him indignant ; to that he alone possessed a claim, 
or at any rate a privilege, for he had discovered 
Gradiva, of whom no one had formerly known, 
had observed her daily, taken her into his life, to 
a degree, imparted to her his life-strength, and it 
seemed to him as if he had thereby again lent to 
her life that she would not have possessed without 


him. Therefore he felt that there devolved upon 
him a right, to which he alone might make a claim, 
and which he might refuse to share with anyone else. 
The advancing day was hotter than the two 
preceding ; the sun seemed to have set her mind 
to-day on a quite extraordinary feat, and made it 
regrettable, not only in an archaeological, but also 
in a practical connection, that the water system 
of Pompeii had lain burst and dried up for two 
thousand years. Street foimtains here and there 
commemorated it and likewise gave evidence of 
their informal use by thirsty passers-by, who had, 
in order to bend forward to the jet, leaned a hand 
on the marble railing and gradually dug out a sort 
of trough in the place, in the same way that drop- 
ping wears away stone ; Norbert observed this at 
a corner of the Strada della Fortuna, and from 
that the idea occurred to him that the hand of 
Zoe-Gradiva, too, might formerly have rested here 
in that way, and involuntarily he laid his hand into 
the little hollow, yet he immediately rejected the 
idea, and felt annoyance at himself that he could 
have done it ; the thought did not harmonize at 
all with the nature and bearing of the young 
Pompeiian girl of a refined family ; there was 
something profane in the idea that she could have 
bent over so and placed her lips on the very pipe 
from which the plebeians drank with coarse mouths. 
In a noble sense, he had never seen anything more 
seemly than her actions and movements ; he was 
frightened by the idea that she might be able to see 
by looking at him that he had had the incredibly 
unreasonable thought, for her eyes possessed some- 
thing penetrating ; a couple of times, when he had 



been with her, the feeling had seized him that she 
looked as if she were seeking for access to his inmost 
thoughts and were looking about them as if with 
a bright steel probe. He was obliged, therefore, 
to take great care that she might come upon 
nothing foolish in his mental processes. 

It was now an hour until noon and in order to 
pass it, he went diagonally across the street into 
the Casa del Fauno, the most extensive and 
magnificent of all the excavated houses. Like no 
other, it possessed a double inner court and showed, 
in the larger one, on the middle of the ground, 
the empty base on which had stood the famous 
statue of the dancing faun after which the house 
had been named. Yet there stirred in Norbert 
Hanold not the least regret that this work of art, 
valued highly by science, was no longer here, but, 
together with the mosaic picture of the Battle of 
Alexander, had been transferred to the Museo 
Nazionale in Naples ; he possessed no further 
intention nor desire than to let time move along, 
and he wandered about aimlessly in this place 
through the large building. Behind the peristyle 
opened a wider room, surrounded by numerous 
pillars, planned either as another repetition of the 
peristyle or as an ornamental garden ; so it seemed 
at present for, like the dining-room of the Casa 
di Meleagro, it was completely covered with 
poppy-blooms. Absent-mindedly the visitor passed 
through the silent dereliction. 

Then, however, he stopped and rested on one 
foot ; but he found himself not alone here ; at 
some distance his glance fell upon two figures, 
who first gave the impression of only one, because 


they stood as closely as possible to each other. 
They did not see him, for they were concerned 
only with themselves, and, in that corner, because 
of the pillars, might have believed themselves 
undiscoverable by any other eyes. Mutually em- 
bracing each other, they held their lips also pressed 
together, and the unsuspected spectator recognized, 
to his amazement, that they were the young man 
and woman who had last evening seemed to him 
the first congenial people encountered on this trip. 
For brother and sister, their present position, the 
embrace and the kiss, it seemed to him had lasted 
too long. So it was surely another pair of lovers, 
probably a young bridal couple, an Augustus and 
Gretchen, too. 

Strange to relate, however, the two latter did 
not, at the moment, enter Norbert's mind, and the 
incident seemed to him not at all ridiculous nor 
repulsive, rather it heightened his pleasure in them. 
What they were doing seemed to him as natural as 
it did comprehensible ; his eyes clung to the living 
picture, more widely open than they ever had been 
to any of the most admired works of art, and he 
would have gladly devoted himself for a longer 
time to his observation. Yet it seemed to him 
that he had wrongfully penetrated into a consecrated 
place and was on the point of disturbing a secret 
act of devotion ; the idea of being noticed there 
struck terror to his heart, and he quickly turned, 
went back some distance noiselessly on tiptoe and, 
when he had passed beyond hearing distance, ran 
out with bated breath and beating heart to the 
Vicolo del Fauno. 


When he arrived before the house of Meleager, 
he did not know whether it was already noon, and 
did not happen to question his watch about it, but 
remained before the door, standing looking down 
with indecision for some time at the " Ave " in the 
entrance. A fear prevented him from stepping in, 
and strangely, he was equally afraid of not meeting 
Gradiva within, and of finding her there ; for, 
during the last few moments, he had felt quite 
sure that, in the first case, she would be staying 
somewhere else with some younger man, and, in the 
second case, the latter would be in company with 
her on the steps between the pillars. Toward the 
man, however, he felt a hate far stronger than 
against all the assembled common house-flies ; until 
to-day he had not considered it possible that he 
could be capable of such violent inner excitement. 
The duel, which he had always considered stupid 
nonsense, suddenly appeared to him in a different 
light ; here it became a natural right which the 
man injured in his own rights, or mortally insulted, 
made use of as the only available means to secure 
satisfaction or to part with an existence which had 
become purposeless. So he suddenly stepped for- 
ward to enter ; he would challenge the bold man 
and would — this rushed upon him almost more 
powerfully — express unreservedly to her that he 
had considered her something better, more noble, 
and incapable of such vulgarity. 

He was so filled to the brim with this rebellious 
idea that he uttered it, even though there was not 
apparently the least occasion for it, for, when he 
had covered the distance to the dining-room with 
stormy haste, he demanded violently, " Are you 


alone ? " although appearances allowed of no doubt 
that Gradiva was sitting there on the steps, just 
as much alone as on the two previous days. 

She looked at him amazed and replied, " Who 
should still be here after noon ? Then the people 
are all hungry and sit down to meals. Nature 
has arranged that very happily for me." 

His surging excitement could not, however, be 
allayed so quickly, and without his knowledge or 
desire, he let slip, with the conviction of certainty, 
the conjecture which had come over him outside ; 
for he added, to be sure somewhat foolishly, that 
he could really not think otherwise. 

Her bright eyes remained fixed upon his face until 
he had finished. Then she made a motion with one 

finger against her brow and said, " You " 

After that, however, she continued, " It seems to 
me quite enough that I do not remain away from 
here, even though I must expect that you are 
coming here at this time ; but the place pleases me, 
and I see that you have brought me my sketch- 
book that I forgot here yesterday. I thank you 
for your vigilance. Won't you give it to me ? " 

The last question was well founded, for he 
showed no disposition to do so, but remained 
motionless. It began to dawn upon him that he 
had imagined and worked out a monstrous piece 
of nonsense, and had also given expression to it ; 
in order to compensate, as far as possible, he now 
stepped forward hastily, handed Gradiva the book, 
and at the same time sat down near her on the 
step, mechanically. Casting a glance at his hand, 
she said, " You seem to be a lover of roses." 
At these words he suddenlv became conscious 


of what had caused him to pluck and bring them 
and he responded, " Yes, — of course, not for myself, 
have I — you spoke yesterday — and last night, too, 
some one said it to me — people give them in spring." 

She pondered briefly before she answered, " Ah, 
so — yes, I remember. To others, I meant, one 
does not give asphodel, but roses. That is polite 
of you ; it seems your opinion of me is improved." 

Her hand stretched out to receive the red flowers, 
and, handing them to her, he rejoined, " I believed 
at first that you could be here only during the 
noon hour, but it has become probable to me that 
you also, at some other time — that makes me very 
happy " 

" Why does it make you happy ? " 

Her face expressed lack of comprehension — 
only about her lips there passed a slight, hardly 
noticeable quiver. Confused, he offered, " It is 
beautiful to be alive ; it has never seemed so much 
so to me before — I wished to ask you ? " He 
searched in his breast pocket and added, as he 
drew out the object, " Has this brooch ever be- 
longed to you ? " 

She leaned forward a little toward it, but shook 
her head. " No, I can't remember. Chronologi- 
cally it would, of course, not be impossible, for it 
probably did not exist until this year. Did you 
find it in the sun perhaps ? The beautiful green 
patina surely seems familiar to me, as if I had 
already seen it." 

Involuntarily he repeated, " In the sun ?— why 
in the sun ? " 

" ' Sole ' it is called here. It brings to light 
many things of that sort. Was the brooch said 


to have belonged to a young girl who is said to 
have perished, I believe, in the vicinity of the 
Forum, with a companion ? " 

" Yes, who held his arm about her " 

" Ah, so " 

The two little words apparently lay upon Gra- 
diva's tongue as a favourite interjection, and she 
stopped after it for a moment before she added, 
" Did you think that on that account I might 
have worn it ? and would that have made you a 
little — how did you say it before ? — unhappy ? '* 

It was apparent that he felt extraordinarily 
relieved and it was audible in his answer, " I am 
very happy about it — for the idea that the brooch 
belonged to you made me — dizzy." 

" You seem to have a tendency for that. Did 
you perhaps forget to eat breakfast this morning ? 
That easily aggravates such attacks ; I do not 
suffer from them, but I make provision, as it 
suits me best to be here at noon. If I can help 
you out of your unfortunate condition a little by 
sharing my lunch with you " 

She drew out of her pocket a piece of white 
bread wrapped in tissue paper, broke it, put half 
into his hand, and began to devour the other with 
apparent appetite. Thereby her exceptionally 
dainty and perfect teeth not only gleamed be- 
tween her lips with pearly glitter, but in biting 
the crust caused also a crunching sound so that 
they gave the impression of being not unreal 
phantoms, but of actual, substantial reality. 
Besides, with her conjecture about the postponed 
breakfast,^ she had, to be sure, hit upon the right 
thing ; mechanically he, too, ate, and felt from it 


a decidedly favourable effect on the clearing of 
his thoughts. So, for a little while, the couple 
did not speak further, but devoted themselves 
silently to the same practical occupation until 
Gradiva said, " It seems to me as if we had already 
eaten our bread thus together once two thousand 
years ago. Can't you remember it ? " 

He could not, but it seemed strange to him now 
that she spoke of so infinitely remote a past, for 
the strengthening of his mind by the nourishment 
had brought with it a change in his brain. The 
idea that she had been going around here in 
Pompeii such a long time ago would no longer 
harmonize with sound reason ; everything about 
her seemed of the present, as if it could be scarcely 
more than twenty years old. The form and colour 
of her face, the especially charming, brown, wavy 
hair, and the flawless teeth ; also, the idea that 
the bright dress, marred by no shadow of a spot, 
had lain countless years in the pumice ashes con- 
tained something in the highest degree incon- 
sistent. Norbert was seized by a feeling of doubt 
whether he were really sitting here awake or were 
not more probably dreaming in his study, where, 
in contemplation of the likeness of Gradiva, he 
had been overcome by sleep, and had dreamed 
that he had gone to Pompeii, had met her as a 
person still living, and was dreaming further that 
he was still sitting so at her side in the Casa di 
Meleagro. For that she was really still alive 
or had been living again could only have hap- 
pened in a dream — the laws of nature raised an 
objection to it 

To be sure, it was strange that she had just 


said that she had once shared her bread with him 
in that way two thousand years ago. Of that he 
knew nothing, and even in the dream could find 
nothing about it. 

Her left hand lay with the slender fingers calmly 
on her knees. They bore the key to the solution 
of an inscrutable riddle 

Even in the dining-room of the Casa di Meleagro 
the boldness of the common house-fly was not 
deterred ; on the yellow pillar opposite him he saw 
one running up and down in a worthless way in 
greedy quest ; now it whizzed right past his nose. 

He, however, had to make some answer to her 
question, if he did not remember the bread that 
he had formerly consumed with her, and he said 
suddenly, " Were the flies then as devilish as 
now, so that they tormented you to death ? " 

She glanced at him with utterly incompre- 
hending astonishment and repeated, " The flies ? 
Have you flies on your mind now ? " 

Then suddenly the black monster sat upon her 
hand, which did not reveal by the slightest quiver 
that she noticed it. Thereupon, however, there 
united in the young archaeologist two powerful 
impulses to execute the same deed. His hand 
went up suddenly and clapped with no gentle 
stroke on the fly and the hand of his neighbour. 

With this blow there came to him, for the first 
time, sense, consternation and also a joyous fear. 
He had delivered the stroke not through empty 
air, but on an undoubtedly real, living and warm, 
human hand which, for a moment apparently 
absolutely startled, remained motionless under his. 
Yet then she drew it away with a jerk, and the 


mouth above it said, " You are surely apparently 
crazy, Norbert Hanold." 

The name, which he had disclosed to no one in 
Pompeii, passed so easily, assuredly and clearly 
from her lips that its owner jumped up from the 
steps, even more terrified. At the same time there 
sounded in the colonnade footsteps of people who 
had come near unobserved ; before his confused 
eyes appeared the faces of the congenial pair of 
lovers from the Casa del Fauno, and the young lady 
cried, with a tone of greatest surprise, " Zoe ! You 
here, too ? and also on your honeymoon ? You 
have not written me a word about it, you know." 

Norbert was again outside before Meleager's 
house in the Strada di Mercurio. How he had 
come there was not clear to him, it must have 
happened instinctively, and, caused by a lightning- 
like illumination in him, was the only thing that 
he could do not to present a thoroughly ridiculous 
figure to the young couple, even more to the girl 
greeted so pleasantly by them, who had just 
addressed him by his Christian and family names, 
and most of all to himself. For even if he grasped 
nothing, one fact was indisputable. Gradiva, with 
a warm, human hand, not unsubstantial, but 
possessing corporeal reality, had expressed an 
indubitable truth ; his mind had, in the last two 
days, been in a condition of absolute madness ; 
and not at all in a silly dream, but rather with the 
use of eyes and ears such as is given by nature 
to man for reasonable service. Like everything 
else, how such a thing had happened escaped his 


understanding, and only darkly did he feel that 
there must have also been in the game a sixth 
sense which, obtaining the upper hand in some 
way, had transformed something perhaps precious 
to the opposite. In order to get at least a little 
more light on the matter by an attempt at medi- 
tation, a remote place in solitary silence was abso- 
lutely required ; at first, however, he was impelled 
to withdraw as quickly as possible from the sphere 
of eyes, ears and other senses, which use their 
natural functions as suits their own purpose. 

As for the owner of that warm hand, she had, 
at any rate, from her first expression, been sur- 
prised by the unforeseen and unexpected visit at 
noon in the Casa di Meleagro in a not entirely 
pleasant manner. Yet, of this, in the next instant, 
there was no trace to be seen in her bright coun- 
tenance ; she stood up quickly, stepped toward 
the young lady and said, extending her hand, 
" It certainly is pleasant, Gisa ; chance sometimes 
has a clever idea too. So this is your husband 
of two weeks ? I am glad to see him, and, from 
the appearance of both of you, I apparently need 
not change my congratulations for condolence. 
Couples to whom that would be applied are at 
this time usually sitting at lunch in Pompeii ; you 
are probably staying near the ' ingresso ' ; I shall 
look you up there this afternoon. No, I have not 
written you anything ; you won't be offended at 
me for that, for you see my hand, unlike yours, 
is not adorned by a ring. The atmosphere here 
has an extremely powerful effect on the imagination, 
which I can see in you ; it is better, of course, than 
if it made one too matter-of-fact. The young 


man who just went out is labouring also under a 
remarkable delusion ; it seems to me that he believes 
a fly is buzzing in his head ; well, everyone has, 
of course, some kind of bee in his bonnet. As is 
my duty, I have some knowledge of entomology 
and can, therefore, be of a little service in such 
cases. My father and I live in the ' Sole ' ; he, 
too, had a sudden and pleasing idea of bringing 
me here with him if I would be responsible for 
my own entertainment, and make no demands 
upon him. I said to myself that I should certainly 
dig up something interesting alone here. Of course 
I had not reckoned at all on the find which I made 
— I mean the good fortune of meeting you, Gisa ; 
but I am talking away the time, as is usually the 

case with an old friend My father comes in 

out of the sun at two o'clock to eat at the ' Sole ' ; 
so I have to keep company there with his appetite 
and, therefore, I am sorry to say, must for the 
moment forego your society. You will, of course, 
be able to view the Casa di Meleagro without me ; 
that I think likely, though I can't understand it, 
of course. Favorisca, signor ! Arrivederci, Gi- 
setta ! That much Italian I have already learned, 
and one really does not need more. Whatever 
else is necessary one can invent — please, no, senza 
complimenti ! " 

This last entreaty of the speaker concerned a 
polite movement by which the young husband had 
seemed to wish to escort her. She had expressed 
herself most vividly, naturally and in a manner 
quite fitting to the circumstances of the unexpected 
meeting of a close friend, yet with extraordinary 
celerity, which testified to the urgency of the 


declaration that she could not at present remain 
longer. So not more than a few minutes had 
passed since the hasty exit of Norbert Hanold, 
when she also stepped from the house of Meleager 
into the Strada di Mercurio. This lay, because 
of the hour, enlivened only here and there by a 
cringing lizard, and for a few moments the girl, 
hesitating, apparently gave herself over to a brief 
meditation. Then she quickly struck out in the 
shortest way to the gate of Hercules, at the inter- 
section of the Vicolo di Mercurio and the Strada 
di Sallustio, crossed the stepping-stones with the 
gracefully buoyant Gradiva-walk, and thus arrived 
very quickly at the two ruins of the side wall 
near the Porta Ercolanese. Behind this there 
stretched at some length the Street of Tombs, yet 
not dazzlingly white, nor overhung with glittering 
sunbeams, as twenty-four hours ago, when the 
young archaeologist had thus gazed down over it 
with searching eyes. To-day the sun seemed to 
be overcome by a feeling that she had done a little 
too much good in the morning ; she held a grey 
veil drawn before her, the condensation of which 
was visibly being increased, and, as a result, the 
cypresses, which grew here and there in the Strada 
di Sepolcri, rose unusually sharp and black against 
the heavens. It was a picture different from that 
of yesterday ; the brilliance which mysteriously 
glittered over everything was lacking ; the street 
also assumed a certain gloomy distinctness, and 
had at present a dead aspect which honoured its 
name. This impression was not diminished by an 
isolated movement at its end, but was rather 
heightened by it ; there, in the vicinity of the 


Villa of Diomede, a phantom seemed to be looking 
for its grave, and disappeared under one of the 

It was not the shortest way from the house of 
Meleager to the " Albergo del Sole," rather the 
exactly opposite direction, but Zoe-Gradiva must 
have also decided that time was not yet importun- 
ing so violently to lunch, for after a quite brief stop 
at the Hercules Gate, she walked farther along the 
lava-blocks of the Street of Tombs, every time 
raising the sole of her lingering foot almost per- 

The Villa of Diomede— named thus, for people 
of the present, after a monument which a certain 
freed-man, Marcus Arrius Diomedes, formerly pro- 
moted to the directorship of this city-section, had 
erected near by for his lady, Arria, as well as for 
himself and his relatives — was a very extensive 
building and concealed within itself a part of the 
history of the destruction of Pompeii not invented 
by imagination. A confusion of extensive ruins 
formed the upper part ; below lay an unusually 
large sunken garden surrounded by a well-preserved 
portico of pillars with scanty remnants of a foun- 
tain and a small temple in the middle ; and farther 
along two stairways led down to a circular cellar- 
vault, lighted only dimly by gloomy twilight. 
The ashes of Vesuvius had penetrated into this 
also, and the skeletons of eighteen women and 
children had been found here ; seeking protection 
they had fled, with some hastily gathered pro- 
visions, into the half-subterranean space, and the 


deceptive refuge had become the tomb of all. In 
another place the supposed, nameless master of 
the house lay, also stretched out choked on the 
ground ; he had wished to escape through the 
locked garden-door, for he held the key to it in his 
fingers. Beside him cowered another skeleton, 
probably that of a servant, who was carrying a 
considerable number of gold and silver coins. The 
bodies of the unfortunates had been preserved by 
the hardened ashes ; in the museum at Naples 
there is under glass, the exact impression of the 
neck, shoulders and beautiful bosom of a young 
girl clad in a fine, gauzy garment. 

The Villa of Diomede had, at one time, at least, 
been the inevitable goal of every dutiful Pompeii 
visitor, but now, at noon, in its rather roomy 
solitude, certainly no curiosity lingered in it, and 
therefore it had seemed to Norbert Hanold the 
place of refuge best suited to his newest mental 
needs. These longed most insistently for grave- 
like loneliness, breathless silence, and quiescent 
peace ; against the latter, however, an impelling 
restlessness in his system raised counter-claims, 
and he had been obliged to force an agreement 
between the two demands, such that the mind tried 
to claim its own and yet gave the feet liberty to 
follow their impulse. So he had been wandering 
around through the portico since his entrance ; he 
succeeded thus in preserving his bodily equili- 
brium, and he busied himself with changing his 
mental state into the same normal condition ; that, 
however, seemed more difficult in execution than 
in intention ; of course it seemed to his judgment 
unquestionable that he had been utterly foolish 


and irrational to believe that he had sat with a 
young Pompeiian girl, who had become more or 
less corporeally alive again, and this clear view 
of his madness formed incontestably an essential 
advance on the return to sound reason ; but it was 
not yet restored entirely to normal condition, for, 
even if it had occurred to him that Gradiva was 
only a dead bas-relief, it was also equally beyond 
doubt that she was still alive. For that irre- 
futable proof was adduced ; not he alone, but 
others also, saw her, knew that her name was Zoe 
and spoke with her, as with a being as much alive, 
in substance, as they. On the other hand, how- 
ever, she knew his name too, and again, that could 
originate only from a supernatural power ; this 
dual nature remained enigmatic even for the rays 
of understanding that were entering his mind. 
Yet to this incompatible duality there was joined 
a similar one in him, for he cherished the earnest 
desire to have been destroyed here in the Villa of 
Diomede two thousand years ago, in order that 
he might not run the risk of meeting Zoe-Gradiva 
again anywhere ; at the same time, however, an 
extraordinary joyous feeling was stirring within 
him, because he was still alive and was therefore 
able to meet her again somewhere. To use a 
commonplace yet fitting simile, this was turning in 
his head like a mill-wheel, and through the long 
portico he ran around likewise without stopping, 
which did not aid him in the explanation of the 
contradictions. On the contrary, he was moved 
by an indefinite feeling that everything was growing 
darker and darker about and within him. 

Then he suddenly recoiled, as he turned one of 


the four corners of the colonnade. A half-dozen 
paces away from him there sat, rather high up on 
a fragmentary wall-ruin, one of the young girls 
who had found death here in the ashes. 

No, that was nonsense, which his reason rejected. 
His eyes, too, and a nameless something else 
recognized that fact. It was Gradiva ; she was 
sitting on a stone ruin as she had formerly sat 
on the step, only, as the former was considerably 
higher, her slender feet, which hung down free in 
the sand-colour shoes, were visible up to her dainty 

With an instinctive movement, Norbert was at 
first about to run out between the pillars through 
the garden ; what, for a half-hour, he had feared 
most of anything in the world had suddenly 
appeared, viewed him with bright eyes and with 
lips which, he felt, were about to burst into mock- 
ing laughter ; yet they didn't, but the famihar 
voice rang out calmly from them, " You'll get wet 

Now, for the first time, he saw that it was rain- 
ing ; for that reason it had become so dark. That 
unquestionably was an advantage to all the plants 
about and in Pompeii, but that a human being in 
the place would be benefited by it was ridiculous, 
and for the moment Norbert Hanold feared, far 
more than danger of death, appearing ridiculous. 
Therefore he involuntarily gave up the attempt 
to get away, stood there, helpless, and looked at 
the two feet, which now, as if somewhat impatient, 
were swinging back and forth ; and as this view 
did not have so clearing an effect upon his thoughts 
that he could find expression for them, the owner 



of the dainty feet again took up the conversation. 
" We were interrupted before ; you were just 
going to tell me something about flies — I imagined 
that you were making scientific investigations here 
— or about a fly in your head. Did you succeed in 
catching and destroying the one on my hand ? " 

This last she said with a smiling expression 
about her lips, which, however, was so faint and 
charming that it was not at all terrifying. On 
the contrary, it now lent to the questioned man 
power of speech, but with this limitation, that the 
young archaeologist suddenly did not know how 
to address her. In order to escape this dilemma, 
he found it best to avoid that and replied, " I was 
— as they say — somewhat confused mentally and 
ask pardon that I — the hand — in that way — how I 
could be so stupid, I can't understand — but I can't 
understand either how its owner could use my 
name in upbraiding me for my — my madness." 

Gradiva's feet stopped moving and she rejoined, 
still addressing him familiarly, " Your power of 
understanding has not yet progressed that far, 
Norbert Hanold. Of course, I cannot be surprised, 
for you have long ago accustomed me to it. To 
make that discovery again I should not have needed 
to come to Pompeii, and you could have confirmed 
it for me a good hundred miles nearer." 

" A hundred miles nearer " — he repeated, per- 
plexed and half stuttering — " where is that ? " 

" Diagonally across from your house, in the 
corner house ; in my window, in a cage, is a canary." 

Like a memory from far away this last word 
moved the hearer, who repeated, " A canary " — 
and he added, stuttering more — " He — he sings ? " 


" They usually do, especially in spring when the 
sun begins to seem warm again. In that house 
lives my father, Richard Bertgang, professor of 

Norbert Hanold's eyes opened to a width never 
before attained by them, and then he said, " Bert- 
gang— then are you— are you — Miss Zoe Bertgang ? 
But she looked quite different " 

The two dangling feet began again to swing a 
little, and Miss Zoe Bertgang said in reply, " If 
you find that form of address more suitable between 
us, I can use it too, you know, but the other came 
to me more naturally. I don't know whether I 
looked different when we used to run about before 
with each other as friends every day, and occa- 
sionally beat and cuffed each other, for a change, 
but if, in recent years, you had favoured me with 
even one glance, you might perhaps have seen that 
I have looked like this for a long time. — No, now, 
as they say, it's pouring pitchforks ; you won't 
have a dry stitch." 

Not only had the feet of the speaker indicated 
a return of impatience, or whatever it might be, 
but also in the tones of her voice there appeared 
a little didactic, ill-humoured curtness, and Norbert 
had thereby been overwhelmed by a feeling that he 
was running the risk of slipping into the role of 
a big school-boy scolded and slapped in the face. 
That caused him to again seek mechanically for 
an exit between the pillars, and to the movement 
which showed this impulse Miss Zoe's last utter- 
ance, indifferently added, had reference ; and, of 
course, in an undeniably striking way, because 
for what was now occurring outside of the shelter, 


" pouring " was really a mild term. A tropical 
cloudburst such as only seldom took pity on the 
summer thirst of the meadows of the Campagna, 
was shooting vertically and rushing as if the 
Tyrrhenian Sea were pouring from heaven upon 
the Villa of Diomede, and yet it continued like a 
firm wall composed of billions of drops gleaming 
like pearls and large as nuts. That, indeed, made 
escape out into the open air impossible, and forced 
Norbert Hanold to remain in the school-room of 
the portico while the young school-mistress with 
the delicate, clever face made use of the hindrance 
for further extension of her pedagogical discussion 
by continuing, after a brief pause : — 

" Then up to the time when people call us 
' Backfisch,' for some unknown reason, I had really 
acquired a remarkable attachment for you and 
thought that I could never find a more pleasing 
friend in the world. Mother, sister, or brother I 
had not, you know ; to my father a slow- worm in 
alcohol was far more interesting than I, and people 
(I count girls such) must surely have something 
with which they can occupy their thoughts and 
the like. Then you were that something, but when 
archaeology overcame you, I made the discovery 
that you — excuse the familiarity, but your new 
formality sounds absurd to me — I was saying that 
I imagined that you had become an intolerable 
person, who had no longer, at least for me, an eye 
in his head, a tongue in his mouth, nor any of the 
memories that I retained of our childhood friend- 
ship. So I probably looked different from what I 
did formerly, for when, occasionally, I met you at 
a party, even last winter, you did not look at me 


and I did not hear your voice ; in this, of course, 
there was nothing which marked me out especially, 
for you treated all the others in the same way. 
To you I was but air, and you, with your shock 
of light hair, which I had formerly pulled so often, 
were as boresome, dry and tongue-tied as a stuffed 
cockatoo and at the same time as grandiose as an 
— archaeopteryx ; I believe the excavated, ante- 
diluvian bird-monster is so called ; but that your 
head harboured an imagination so magnificent as 
here in Pompeii to consider me something excavated 
and restored to life — I had not surmised that of 
you, and when you suddenly stood before me 
unexpectedly, it cost me some effort at first to 
understand what kind of incredible fancy your 
imagination had invented. Then I was amused, 
and, in spite of its madness, it was not entirely 
displeasing to me. For, as I said, I had not ex- 
pected it of you." 

With that, her expression and tone somewhat 
mollified at the end. Miss Zoe Bertgang finished 
her unreserved, detailed and instructive lecture, 
and it was indeed notable how exactly she then 
resembled the figure of Gradiva on the bas-relief, 
not only in her features, her form, her eyes, ex- 
pressive of wisdom, and her charmingly wavy 
hair, but also in her graceful manner of walking 
which he had often seen ; her drapery, too, dress 
and scarf of a cream-coloured, fine cashmere 
material which fell in soft, voluminous folds, 
completed the extraordinary resemblance of her 
whole appearance. There might have been much 
foolishness in the belief that a young Pompeiian 
girl, destroyed two thousand years ago by Vesuvius, 


could sometimes walk around alive again, speak, 
draw and eat bread, but even if the belief brought 
happiness, it assumed everywhere, in the bargain, 
a considerable amount of incomprehensibility ; and 
in consideration of all the circumstances, there 
was incontestably present, in the judgment of 
Norbert Hanold, some mitigating ground for his 
madness in for two days considering Gradiva a 

Although he stood there dry under the portico 
roof, there was established, not quite ineptly, a 
comparison between him and a wet poodle, who 
has had a bucketful of water thrown on his head ; 
but the cold shower-bath had really done him 
good. Without knowing exactly why, he felt that 
he was breathing much more easily. In that, of 
course, the change of tone at the end of the sermon 
— for the speaker sat as if in a pulpit-chair — might 
have helped especially ; at least thereat a trans- 
figured light appeared in his eyes, such as awakened 
hope for salvation through faith produces in the 
eyes of an ardently affected church -attendant ; and 
as the rebuke was now over, and there seemed no 
necessity for fearing a further continuation, he 
succeeded in saying, " Yes, now I recognize— no, 
you have not changed at all — it is you, Zoe — my 
good, happy, clever comrade — it is most strange " 

" That a person must die to become alive again ; 
but for archaeologists that is of course necessary." 

" No, I mean your name " 

" Why is it strange ? " 

The young archseologist showed himself familiar 
with not only the classical languages, but also with 
the etymology of German, and continued, " Be- 


cause Bcrtgang has the same meaning as Gradiva 
and signifies ' the one splendid in walking.' " 

Miss Zo'e Bertgang's two sandal-like shoes were, 
for the moment, because of their movement, 
reminiscent of an impatiently see-sawing wagtail 
waiting for something ; yet the possessor of the 
feet which walked so magnificently seemed not at 
present to be paying any attention to philological 
explanations ; by her countenance she gave the 
impression of being occupied with some hasty 
plan, but was restrained from it by an exclamation 
of Norbert Hanold's which audibly emanated from 
deepest conviction, " What luck, though, that you 
are not Gradiva, but are like the congenial young 
lady ! " 

That caused an expression as of interested 
surprise to pass over her face, and she asked, 
" Who is that ? Whom do you mean ? " 

" The one who spoke to you in Meleager's 

" Do you know her ? " 

" Yes, I had already seen her. She was the first 
person who seemed especially congenial to me." 

" So ? Where did you see her ? " 

" This morning, in the House of the Faun. 
There the couple were doing something very 

" What were they doing ? " 

" They did not see me and they kissed each 

" That was really very reasonable, you know. 
Why else are they in Pompeii on their wedding 
trip ? " 

At one blow with the last word the former 


picture changed before Norbert Hanold's eyes, for 
the old wall-ruin lay there empty, because the 
girl, who had chosen it as a seat, teacher's chair 
and pulpit, had come down, or really flown, and 
with the same supple buoyancy as that of a wag- 
tail swinging through the air, so that she already 
stood again on Gradiva-feet, before his glance had 
consciously caught up with her descent ; and con- 
tinuing her speech directly, she said, " Well, the 
rain has stopped ; too severe rulers do not reign 
long. That is reasonable, too, you know, and thus 
everything has again become reasonable. I, not 
least of all, and you can look up Gisa Hartleben, 
or whatever new name she has, to be of scientific 
assistance to her about the purpose of her stay in 
Pompeii. I must now go to the ' Albergo del Sole,' 
for my father is probably waiting for me already 
at lunch. Perhaps we shall meet again sometime at 
a party in Germany or on the moon. Addio ! " 

Zoe Bertgang said this in the absolutely polite, 
but also equally indifferent tone of a most well- 
bred young lady, and, as was her custom, placing 
her left foot forward, raised the sole of the right 
almost perpendicularly to pass out. As she lifted 
her dress slightly with her left hand, because of 
the thoroughly wet ground outside, the resemblance 
to Gradiva was perfect and the man, standing 
hardly more than two arm-lengths away, noticed 
for the first time a quite insignificant deviation 
in the living picture from the stone one. The 
latter lacked something possessed by the former, 
which appeared at the moment quite clear, a 
little dimple in her cheek, which produced a slight, 
indefinable effect. It puckered and wrinkled a 


little and could therefore express annoyance or 
a suppressed impulse to laugh, possibly both to- 
gether. Norbert Hanold looked at it and although 
from the evidence just presented to him he had 
completely regained his reason, his eyes had to 
again submit to an optical illusion. For, in a tone 
triumphing peculiarly over his discovery, he cried 
out, " There is the fly again ! " 

It sounded so strange that from the incompre- 
h ending listener, who could not see herself, escaped 
the question, " The fly— where ? " 

" There on your cheek ! " and immediately the 
man, as he answered, suddenly twined an arm 
about her neck and snapped, this time with his 
lips, at the insect so deeply abhorrent to him, 
which vision juggled before his eyes deceptively 
in the little dimple. Apparently, however, with- 
out success, for right afterwards he cried again, 
" No, now it's on your lips ! " and thereupon, quick 
as a flash, he directed thither his attempt to cap- 
ture, now remaining so long that no doubt could 
survive that he succeeded in completely accom- 
plishing his purpose, and strange to relate the 
living Gradiva did not hinder him at all, and when 
her mouth, after about a minute, was forced to 
struggle for breath, restored to powers of speech, 
she did not say, " You are really crazy, Norbert 
Hanold," but rather allowed a most charming 
smile to play more visibly than before about her 
red lips ; she had been convinced more than ever 
of the complete recovery of his reason. 

The Villa of Diomede had two thousand years 
ago seen and heard horrible things in an evil hour, 
yet at the present it heard and saw, for about an 


hour, only things not at all suited to inspire horror. 
Then, however, a sensible idea became uppermost 
in Miss Zoe Bertgang's mind and as a result, she 
said, against her wishes, " Now, I must really go, 
or my poor father will starve. It seems to me 
you can to-day forego Gisa Hartleben's company 
at noon, for you have nothing more to learn from 
her and ought to be content with us in the ' Sun 
Hotel.' " 

From this it was to be concluded that during 
that hour something must have been discussed, 
for it indicated a helpful desire to instruct, which 
the young lady vented on Norbert. Yet, from 
the reminding words, he did not gather this, but 
something which, for the first time, he was becoming 
terribly conscious of ; this was apparent in the 
repetition, " Your father — what will he ? " 

Miss Zoe, however, interrupted, without any 
sign of awakened anxiety, " Probably he will do 
nothing ; I am not an indispensable piece in his 
zoological collection ; if I were, my heart would 
probably not have clung to you so unwisely. 
Besides, from my early years, I have been sure 
that a woman is of use in the world only when 
she relieves a man of the trouble of deciding house- 
hold matters ; I generally do this for my father, 
and therefore you can also be rather at ease about 
your future. Should he, however, by chance, in 
this case, have an opinion different from mine, 
we will make it as simple as possible. You go 
over to Capri for a couple of days ; there, with a 
grass snare — you can practise making them on 
my little finger — catch a lizard Faraglionensis, 
Let it go here again, and catch it before his eyes. 


Then give him free choice between it and me, 
and you will have me so surely that I am sorry 
for you. Toward his colleague, Eimer, however, 
I feel to-day that I have formerly been tliigrateful, 
for without his genial invention of lizard-catching 
I should probably not have come into Meleager's 
house, and that would have been a shame, not only 
for you, but for me too. 

This last view she expressed outside of the Villa 
of Diomede and, alas, there was no person present 
on earth who could make any statements about 
the voice and manner of talking of Gradiva. Yet 
even if they had resembled those of Zoe Bertgang, 
as everything else about her did, they must have 
possessed a quite unusually beautiful and roguish 

By this, at least, Norbert Hanold was so strongly 
overwhelmed that, exalted to poetic flights, he cried 
out, "Zoe, you dear life and lovely present — we 
shall take our wedding-trip to Italy and Pompeii." 

That was a decided proof of how different cir- 
cumstances can also produce a transformation in 
a human being and at the same time unite with 
it a weakening of the memory. For it did not 
occur to him at all that he would thereby expose 
himself and his companion on the journey to the 
danger of receiving, from misanthropic, ill-humoured 
railway companions, the names Augustus and 
Gretchen, but at the moment he was thinking so 
little about it that they walked along hand in 
hand through the old Street of Tombs in Pompeii. 
Of course this, too, did not stamp itself into their 
minds at present as such, for a cloudless sky 
shone and laughed again above it ; the sun stretched 


out a golden carpet on the old lava-blocks ; Vesu- 
vius spread its misty pine-cone ; and the whole 
excavated city seemed overwhelmed, not with 
pumice and ashes, but with pearls and diamonds, 
by the beneficent rain-storm. 

The brilliance in the eyes of the young daughter 
of the zoologist rivalled these, but to the an- 
nounced desire about the destination of their 
journey by her childhood friend who had, in a 
way, also been excavated from the ashes, her wise 
lips responded : " I think we won't worry about 
that to-day ; that is a thing which may better be 
left by both of us to more and maturer considera- 
tion and future promptings. I, at least, do not 
yet feel quite alive enough now for such geograph- 
ical decisions." 

That showed that the speaker possessed great 
modesty about the quality of her insight into 
things about which she had never thought until 
to-day. They had arrived again at the Hercules 
Gate, where, at the beginning of the Strada Con- 
solare, old stepping-stones crossed the street. 
Norbert Hanold stopped before them and said 
with a peculiar tone, " Please go ahead here." A 
merry, comprehending, laughing expression lurked 
around his companion's mouth, and, raising her 
dress slightly with her left hand, Gradiva rediviva 
Zo'e Bertgang, viewed by him with dreamily 
observing eyes, crossed with her calmly buoyant 
walk, through the sunlight, over the stepping- 
stones, to the other side of the street. 








IN a circle of men who take it for granted that 
the basic riddle of the dream has been solved 
by the efforts of the present writer, ^ curiosity was 
aroused one day concerning those dreams which 
have never been dreamed, those created by authors, 
and attributed to fictitious characters in their 
productions. The proposal to submit this kind of 
dream to investigation might appear idle and 
strange ; but from one view-point it could be 
considered justifiable. It is, to be sure, not at all 
generally believed that the dreamer dreams some- 
thing senseful and significant. Science and the 
majority of educated people smile when one offers 
them the task of interpreting dreams. Only people 
still clinging to superstition, who give continuity, 
thereby, to the convictions of the ancients, will not 
refrain from interpreting dreams, and the writer of 
Traumdeutung has dared, against the protests of 
orthodox science, to take sides with the ancients 
and superstitious. He is, of course, far from accept- 
ing in dreams a prevision of the future, for the dis- 
closure of which man has, from time immemorial, 

1 Freud, Traumdeutung, 1900 (Leipzig and Wien, 1911), trans- 
lated by A. A. Brill, M.D., Ph.B. Interpretation of Dreams, George 

Allen and Unwin, Ltd., 1913. 



striven vainly. He could not, however, completely 
reject the connections of dreams with the future, 
for, after completing some arduous analysis, the 
dreams seemed to him to represent the fulfilment of 
a wish of the dreamer ; and who could dispute that 
wishes are preponderantly concerned with the future ? 
I have just said that the dream is a fulfilled wish. 
Whoever is not afraid to toil through a difficult 
book, whoever does not demand that a complicated 
problem be insincerely and untruthfully presented 
to him as easy and simple, to save his own effort, 
may seek in the above-mentioned Traumdeutung 
ample proof of this statement, and may, imtil then, 
cast aside the objection that will surely be expressed 
against the equivalence of dreams and wish- 

We have, however, anticipated. The question is 
not now one of establishing whether the meaning 
of a dream is, in every case, to be interpreted as the 
fulfilment of a wish, or, just as frequently, as an 
anxious expectation, an intention or deliberation, 
etc. The first question is, rather, whether the 
dream has any meaning at all, whether one should 
grant it the value of a psychic process. Science 
answers. No ; it explains the dream as a purely 
physiological process, behind which one need not 
seek meaning, significance nor intention. Physical 
excitations play, during sleep, on the psychic in- 
strument and bring into consciousness sometimes 
some, sometimes other ideas devoid of psychic 
coherence. Dreams are comparable only to con- 
vulsions, not to expressive movements. 

In this dispute over the estimation of dreams, 
writers seem to stand on the same side with the 


ancients, superstitious people and the author of 
Traumdeutung. For, when they cause the people 
created by their imagination to dream, they follow 
the common experience that people's thoughts and 
feelings continue into sleep, and they seek only to 
depict the psychic states of their heroes through 
the dreams of the latter. Story-tellers are valuable 
allies, and their testimony is to be rated high, for 
they usually know many things between heaven 
and earth that our academic wisdom does not even 
dream of. In psychic knowledge, indeed, they are 
far ahead of us ordinary people, because they draw 
from sources that we have not yet made accessible 
for science. Would that this partizanship of 
literary workers for the senseful nature of dreams 
were only more unequivocal ! Sharper criticism 
might object that writers take sides neither for nor 
against the psychic significance of an isolated 
dream ; they are satisfied to show how the sleeping 
psyche stirs under the stimuli which have remained 
active in it as off-shoots of waking life. 

Our interest for the way in which story-tellers 
make use of dreams is not, however, made less in- 
tense by this disillusionment. Even if the investi- 
gation should teach nothing of the nature of dreams, 
it may perhaps afford us, from this angle, a little 
insight into the nature of creative literary produc- 
tion. Actual dreams are considered to be unres- 
trained and irregular formations, and now come the 
free copies of such dreams ; but there is much less 
freedom and arbitrariness in psychic life than we 
are inclined to believe, perhaps none at all. What 
we, laity, call chance resolves itself, to an acknow- 
ledged degree, into laws ; also, what we call arbi- 



trariness in psychic life rests on laws only now 
dimly surmised. Let us see ! 

There are two possible methods for this investi- 
gation ; one is engrossment with a special case, 
with the dream-creations of one writer in one of 
his works ; the other consists in bringing together 
and comparing all the examples of the use of 
dreams which are found in the works of different 
story-tellers. The second way seems to be by far 
the more effective, perhaps the only justifiable one, 
for it frees us immediately from the dangers con- 
nected with the conception of *' the writer " as an 
artistic unity. This unity falls to pieces in investi- 
gations of widely different writers, among whom 
we are wont to honour some, individually, as the 
most profound connoisseurs of psychic life. Yet 
these pages will be filled by an investigation of 
the former kind. It so happened, in the group 
of men who started the idea, that some one re- 
membered that the bit of fiction which he had 
most recently enjoyed contained several dreams 
which looked at him with familiar expression and 
invited him to try on them the method of Traum- 
deutung. He admitted that the material and setting 
of the little tale had been partly responsible for 
the origin of his pleasure, for the story was un- 
folded in Pompeii, and concerned a young archaeo- 
logist who had given up interest in life, for that 
in the remains of the classic past, and now, by 
a remarkable but absolutely correct detour, was 
brought back to life. During the perusal of this 
really poetic material, the reader experienced all 
sorts of feelings of familiarity and concurrence. 
The tale was Wilhelm Jensen's Gradiva, a little 


romance designated by its author himself " A 
Pompeian Fancy." 

In order that my further references may be to 
familiar material, I must now ask my readers to 
lay aside this pamphlet, and replace it for some 
time with Gradiva, which first appeared in the book 
world in 1903. To those who have already read 
Gradiva, I will recall the content of the story in a 
short epitome, and hope that their memory will of 
itself restore all the charm of which the story is 
thereby stripped. 

A young archaeologist, Norbert Hanold, has dis- 
covered at Rome, in a collection of antiques, a bas- 
relief which attracts him so exceptionally that he 
is delighted to be able to get an excellent plaster- 
cast of it which he can hang up in his study in a 
German university-city and study with interest. 
The relief represents a mature young girl walking. 
She has gathered up her voluminous gown slightly, 
so that her sandalled feet become visible. One foot 
rests wholly on the ground ; the other is raised to 
follow and touches the ground only with the tips of 
the toes while sole and heel rise almost perpendicu- 
larly. The unusual and especially charming walk 
represented had probably aroused the artist's 
attention, and now, after so many centuries, 
captivates the eye of our archaeological observer. 

This interest of the hero in the described bas- 
relief is the basic psychological fact of our story. 
It is not immediately explicable. " Doctor Nor- 
bert Hanold, docent of archaeology, really found in 
the relief nothing noteworthy for his science." 
(Gradivay p. 14.) " He could not explain what 
quality in it had aroused his attention ; he knew 


only that he had been attracted by something and 
this effect of the first view had remained un- 
changed since then," but his imagination does not 
cease to be occupied with the rehef. He finds in 
it a " sense of present time," as if the artist had 
fixed the picture on the street " from Hfe." He 
confers upon the girl represented walking a name, 
Gradiva, " the girl splendid in walking," spins a 
yarn that she is the daughter of a distinguished 
family, perhaps of a " patrician aedile, whose office 
was connected with the worship of Ceres," and is 
on the way to the temple of the goddess. Then it 
is repulsive to him to place her in the mob of a 
metropolis ; rather he convinces himself that she 
is to be transported to Pompeii, and is walking 
there somewhere on the peculiar stepping-stones 
which have been excavated ; these made a dry 
crossing possible in rainy weather, and yet also 
afforded passage for chariot- wheels. The cut of 
her features seems to him Greek, her Hellenic 
ancestry unquestionable. All of his science of 
antiquity gradually puts itself at the service of this 
or other fancies connected with the relief. 

Then, however, there obtrudes itself upon him 
a would-be scientific problem which demands solu- 
tion. Now it is a matter of his passing a critical 
judgment " whether the artist had reproduced 
Gradiva's manner of walking from life." He 
cannot produce it in himself; in the search for 
the " real existence " of this gait, he arrives only 
at " observation from life for the purpose of en- 
lightenment on the matter " {G. p. 18). This 
forces him, to be sure, to a mode of action utterly 
foreign to him. " Women had formerly been for 


him only a conception in marble or bronze, and 
he had never given his feminine contemporaries 
the least consideration." Society life has always 
seemed to him an unavoidable torture ; young 
ladies whom he meets, in such connections, he fails 
to see and hear, to such a degree that, on the next 
encounter, he passes without greeting, which, of 
course, serves to place him in an unfavourable light 
with them. Now, however, the scientific task 
which he has imposed upon himself forces him in 
dry weather, but especially in wet weather, to 
observe diligently the feet of ladies and girls on 
the street, an activity which yields him many a 
displeased and many an encouraging glance from 
those observed. " Yet one was as incomprehensible 
to him as the other." (G. p. 19.) As a result of 
these careful studies, he finds that Gradiva's gait 
cannot be proved to exist really, a fact which fills 
him with regret and annoyance. 

Soon afterwards he has a terribly frightful 
dream, which transports him to old Pompeii on 
the day of the eruption of Vesuvius, and makes 
him an eye-witness of the destruction of the city. 
"As he stood thus at the edge of the Forum near 
the Jupiter temple, he suddenly saw Gradiva a 
short distance in front of him. Until then no 
thought of her presence there had moved him, but 
now suddenly it seemed natural to him, as she was, 
of course, a Pompeiian girl, that she was living in 
her native city and, without his having any suspicion 
of it, was his contemporary.'*'' (G. p. 20.) Fear 
about her impending fate draws from him a cry 
of warning, in answer to which the unperturbed 
apparition turns her face toward him. Uncon- 


cerned, she continues her way to the portico of the 
temple, sits down there on a step and slowly rests 
her head upon it, while her face keeps growing 
paler, as if it were turning to white marble. As he 
hastens after her, he finds her, with calm coun- 
tenance, stretched out, as if sleeping, on the broad 
step ; soon the rain of ashes buries her form. 

When he awakes, he thinks he is still hearing 
the confused cries of the Pompeiians, who are 
seeking safety, and the dully resounding boom of 
the turbulent sea ; but even after his returning 
senses have recognized these noises as the waking 
expressions of life in the noisy metropolis, he retains 
for some time the belief in the reality of what he 
has dreamed ; when he has finally rid himself of 
the idea that he was really present, nearly two 
thousand years ago, at the destruction of Pompeii, 
there yet remains to him, as a firm conviction, 
the idea that Gradiva lived in Pompeii and was 
buried there in the year 79. His fancies about 
Gradiva, due to the after-effects of this dream, 
continue so that he now, for the first time, begins 
to mourn her as lost. 

While he leans from his window, prepossessed 
with these ideas, a canary, warbling his song in 
a cage at an open window of the house opposite, 
attracts his attention. Suddenly something like a 
thrill passes through the man not yet completely 
awakened from his dream. He believes that he 
sees, in the street, a figure like that of his Gradiva, 
and even recognizes the gait characteristic of her ; 
without deliberation he hastens to the street to 
overtake her, and the laughter and jeers of the 
people, at his unconventional morning attire, first 


drive him quickly back home. In his room, it is 
again the singing canary in the cage who occupies 
him and stimulates him to a comparison with him- 
self. He, too, is sitting in a cage, he finds, yet it 
is easier for him to leave his cage. As if from added 
after-effect of the dream, perhaps also under the 
influence of the mild spring air, he decides to take 
a spring trip to Italy, for which a scientific motive 
is soon found, even if " the impulse for travel had 
originated in a nameless feeling " (G. p. 28). 

We will stop a moment at this most loosely 
motivated journey and take a closer look at the 
personality, as well as the activities of our hero. 
He seems to us still incomprehensible and foolish ; 
we have no idea of how his special folly is to acquire 
enough human appeal to compel our interest. It 
is the privilege of the author of Gradiva to leave 
us in such a quandary ; with his beauty of diction 
and his judicious selection of incident, he presently 
rewards our confidence and the undeserved sym- 
pathy which we still grant to his hero. Of the 
latter we learn that he is already destined by 
family tradition to be an antiquarian, has later, 
in isolation and independence, submerged himself 
completely in his science, and has withdrawn 
entirely from life and its pleasures. Marble and 
bronze are, for his feelings, the only things really 
alive and expressing the purpose and value of 
human life. Yet, perhaps with kind intent. Nature 
has put into his blood a thoroughly unscientific 
sort of corrective, a most lively imagination, which 
can impress itself not only on his dreams, but also 
on his waking life. By such separation of imagina- 
tion and intellectual capacity, he is destined to be 


a poet or a neurotic, and he belongs to that race of 
beings whose realm is not of this world. So it 
happens that his interest is fixed upon a bas-relief 
which represents a girl walking in an unusual 
manner, that he spins a web of fancies about it, 
invents a name and an ancestry for it, and trans- 
ports the person created by him into Pompeii, 
which was buried more than eighteen hundred years 
ago. Finally, after a remarkable anxiety-dream 
he intensifies the fancy of the existence and des- 
truction of the girl named Gradiva into a delusion 
which comes to influence his acts. These perform- 
ances of imagination would appear to us strange and 
inscrutable, if we should encounter them in a really 
living person. As our hero, Norbert Hanold, is a 
creature of an author, we should like to ask the 
latter timidly if his fancy has been determined by 
any power other than his own arbitrariness. 

We left our hero just as he is apparently being 
moved by the song of a canary to take a trip to 
Italy, the motive for which is apparently not clear 
to him. We learn, further, that neither destina- 
tion nor purpose are firmly estabhshed in his 
mind. An inner restlessness and dissatisfaction 
drive him from Rome to Naples and farther on 
from there ; he encounters the swarm of honey- 
moon travellers, and, forced to notice the tender 
" Augustuses " and " Gretchens," is utterly unable 
to understand the acts and impulses of the couples. 
He arrives at the conclusion that, of all the follies 
of humanity, " marriage, at any rate, took the 
prize as the greatest and most incomprehensible 
one, and the senseless wedding trips to Italy 
somehow capped the climax of this buffoonery." 


(G. p. 30.) At Rome, disturbed in his sleep by the 
proximity of a loving couple, he flees, forthwith, 
to Naples, only to find there another " Augustus '* 
and " Gretchen." As he beheves that he under- 
stands from their conversation that the majority 
of those bird-couples does not intend to nest in the 
rubbish of Pompeii, but to take flight to Capri, he 
decides to do what they do not do, and finds himself 
in Pompeii, " contrary to expectations and inten- 
tions," a few days after the beginning of his 
journey — ^without, however, finding there the peace 
which he seeks. 

The role which, until then, has been played by 
the honeymoon couples, who made him uneasy 
and vexed his senses, is now assumed by house- 
flies, in which he is incHned to see the incarnation 
of absolute evil and worthlessness. The two tor- 
mentors blend into one ; many fly-couples remind 
him of honeymoon travellers, address each other 
probably, in their language, also as " My only 
Augustus " and " My sweet Gretchen." 

Finally he cannot help admitting " that his dis- 
satisfaction was certainly caused not by his sur- 
roundings alone, but to a degree found its origin 
in him." (6r. p. 40.) He feels that he is out of 
sorts because he lacks something without being 
able to explain what. 

The next morning he goes through the " in- 
gresso " to Pompeii and, after taking leave of the 
guide, roams aimlessly through the city, notably, 
however, without remembering that he has been 
present in a dream some time before at the des- 
truction of Pompeii. Therefore in the " hot, holy " 
hour of noon, which the ancients, you know, 


considered the ghost-hour, when the other visitors 
have taken flight and the heap of ruins, desolate 
and steeped in sunhght, lies before him, there stirs 
in him the ability to transport himself back into 
the buried life, but not with the aid of science. 
" What it taught was a lifeless, archaeological view 
and what came from its mouth was a dead, philo- 
logical language. These helped in no way to a 
comprehension with soul, mind and heart, as the 
saying is, but he, who possessed a desire for that, 
had to stand alone here, the only living person in 
the hot noonday silence, among the remains of 
the past, in order not to see with physical eyes 
nor hear with corporeal ears. Then — ^the dead 
awoke, and Pompeii began to live again." (G. 
p. 48.) While thus, by means of his imagina- 
tion, he endows the past with life, he suddenly 
sees, indubitably, the Gradiva of his bas-relief 
step out of a house and buoyantly cross the lava 
stepping-stones, just as he had seen her in the 
dream that night when she had lain down to sleep 
on the steps of the Apollo temple. " With this 
memory he became conscious, for the first time, of 
something else ; he had, without himself knowing 
the motive in his heart, come to Italy on that 
account, and had, without stop, continued from 
Rome and Naples to Pompeii to see if he could 
here find trace of her — and that in a Hteral sense — 
for, with her unusual gait, she must have left 
behind in the ashes a foot-print different from all 
the others." (G, p. 50.) 

The suspense, in which the author of Gradiva 
has kept us up to this point, mounts here, for a 
moment, to painful confusion. Not only because 


our hero has apparently lost his equilibrium, but 
also because, confronted with the appearance of 
Gradiva, who was formerly a plaster-cast and then 
a creation of imagination, we are lost. Is it a 
hallucination of our deluded hero, a " real " ghost, 
or a corporeal person ? Not that we need to believe 
in ghosts to draw up this list. Jensen, who named 
his tale a *' Fancy," has, of course, found no occa- 
sion, as yet, to explain to us whether he wishes 
to leave us in our world, decried as dull and ruled 
by the laws of science, or to conduct us into another 
fantastic one, in which reality is ascribed to ghosts 
and spirits. As Hamlet and Macbeth show, we are 
ready to follow him into such a place without hesita- 
tion. The delusion of the imaginative archaeolo- 
gist would need, in that case, to be measured by 
another standard. Yes, when we consider how 
improbable must be the real existence of a person 
who faithfully reproduces in her appearance that 
antique bas-relief, our list shrinks to an alterna- 
tive : hallucination or ghost of the noon hour. A 
slight touch in the description eliminates the former 
possibility. A large lizard lies stretched out, 
motionless, in the sunlight ; it flees, however, 
before the approaching foot of Gradiva and wrig- 
gles away over the lava pavement. So, no hallu- 
cination ; something outside of the mind of our 
dreamer. But ought the reality of a rediviva to 
be able to disturb a lizard ? 

Before the house of Meleager Gradiva disappears. 
We are not surprised that Norbert Hanold persists 
in his delusion that Pompeii has begun to live again 
about him in the noon hour of spirits, and that 
Gradiva has also returned to life and gone into 


the house where she hved before the fateful August 
day of the year 79. There dart through his mind 
keen conjectures about the personahty of the owner, 
after whom the house may have been named, 
and about Gradiva's relation to the latter ; these 
show that his science has now given itself over 
completely to the service of his imagination. 
After entering this house, he again suddenly dis- 
covers the apparition, sitting on low steps between 
two yellow pillars. " Spread out on her knees lay 
something white, which he was unable to distin- 
guish clearly ; it seemed to be a papyrus sheet " 
{G. p. 55). Taking for granted his most recent 
suppositions about her ancestry, he speaks to her 
in Greek, awaiting timorously the determination 
of whether the power of speech may, perhaps, be 
granted to her in her phantom existence. As she 
does not answer, he changes the greeting to Latin. 
Then, from smiling lips, come the words, " If you 
wish to speak with me, you must do so in German." 
What embarrassment for us, the readers ! Thus 
the author of Gradiva has made sport of us and 
decoyed us, as if by means of the refulgence of 
Pompeiian sunshine, into a little delusion so that 
we may be milder in our judgment of the poor 
man, whom the real noonday sun actually burns ; 
but we know now, after recovering from brief 
confusion, that Gradiva is a living German girl, a 
fact which we wish to reject as utterly improbable. 
Reflecting calmly, we now await a discovery of 
what connection exists between the girl and the 
stone representation of her, and of how our young 
archaeologist acquired the fancies which hint at her 
real personality. 


Our hero is not freed so quickly as we from the 
delusion, for, " Even if the belief brought happi- 
ness," says our author, " it assumed everywhere, 
in the bargain, a considerable amount of incom- 
prehensibility." {G. p. 102.) Besides, this de- 
lusion probably has subjective roots of which we 
know nothing, which do not exist for us. He 
doubtless needs trenchant treatment to bring him 
back to reality. For the present he can do nothing 
but adapt the delusion to the wonderful discovery 
which he has just made. Gradiva, who had 
perished at the destruction of Pompeii, can be 
nothing but a ghost of the noon hour, who returns 
to life for the noon hour of spirits ; but why, 
after the answer given in German, does the ex- 
clamation escape him : "I knew that your voice 
sounded like that " ? Not only we, but the girl, 
too, must ask, and Hanold must admit that he has 
never heard her voice before, but expected to hear 
it in the dream, when he called to her, as she lay 
down to sleep on the steps of the temple. He 
begs her to repeat that action, but she then rises, 
directs a strange glance at him, and, after a few 
steps, disappears between the pillars of the court. 
A beautiful butterfly had, shortly before that, 
fluttered about her a few times ; in his interpreta- 
tion it had been a messenger from Hades, who was 
to admonish the departed one to return, as the 
noon hour of spirits had passed. The call, " Are 
you coming here again to-morrow in the noon 
hour ? " Hanold can send after the disappearing 
girl. To us, however, who venture a more sober 
interpretation, it will seem that the young lady 
found something improper in the request which 


Hanold had made of her, and therefore, insulted, 
left him, as she could yet know nothing of his 
dream. May not her delicacy of feeling have 
realized the erotic nature of the request, which was 
prompted, for Hanold, only by the connection 
with his dream ? 

After the disappearance of Gradiva, our hero 
examines all the guests at the " Hotel Diomed " table 
and soon also those of '* Hotel Suisse," and can then 
assure himself that in neither of the only two 
lodgings known to him in Pompeii is a person to 
be found who possesses the most remote resem- 
blance to Gradiva. Of course he had rejected, as 
unreasonable, the supposition that he might really 
meet Gradiva in one of the two hostelries. The 
wine pressed on the hot soil of Vesuvius then helps 
to increase the day's dizziness. 

The only certainty about the next day is that 
Norbert must again be in Meleager's house at 
noon ; and, awaiting the hour, he enters Pompeii 
over the old city-wall, a way which is against the 
rules. An asphodel cluster of white bell-flowers 
seems, as flower of the lower world, significant 
enough for him to pluck and carry away. All his 
knowledge of antiquity appears to him, however, 
while he is waiting, as the most purposeless and 
indifferent matter in the world, for another in- 
terest has acquired control of him, the problem, 
" what is the nature of the physical manifestation 
of a being like Gradiva, dead and alive at the 
same time, although the latter was true only in 
the noon hour of spirits ? " {G. p. 64.) He is 
also worried lest to-day he may not meet the lady 
sought, because perhaps she may not be allowed 


to return for a long time, and when he again sees 
her between the pillars, he considers her appear- 
ance an illusion, which draws from him the grieved 
exclamation, " Oh, that you were still alive ! " 
This time, however, he has evidently been too 
critical, for the apparition possesses a voice which 
asks him whether he wishes to bring her the white 
flower, and draws the man, who has again lost his 
composure, into a long conversation. Our author 
informs us, readers, to whom Gradiva has already 
become interesting as a living personality, that the 
ill-humoured and repellent glance of the day before 
has given way to an expression of searching in- 
quisitiveness or curiosity. She really sounds him, 
demands, in explanation of his remark of the pre- 
ceding day, when he had stood near her as she lay 
down to sleep, in this way learns of the dream in 
which she perished with her native city, then of 
the bas-relief, and of the position of the foot, 
w^hich attracted the young archaeologist. Now 
she shows herself ready to demonstrate her manner 
of walking, whereby the substitution of light, sand- 
coloured, fine leather shoes for the sandals, which 
she explains as adaptation to the present, is estab- 
lished as the only deviation from the original relief 
of Gradiva. Apparently she is entering into his 
delusion, whose whole range she elicits from him, 
without once opposing him. Only once she seems 
to have been wrested from her role by a peculiar 
feehng when, his mind on the bas-relief, he asserts 
that he has recognized her at first glance. As, at 
this stage of the conversation, she, as yet, knows 
nothing of the relief, she must be on the point of 
misunderstanding Hanold's words, but she has 


immediately recovered herself again, and only to 
us will many of her speeches appear to have a 
double meaning, besides their significance in con- 
nection with the delusion, a real, present meaning, 
as, for example, when she regrets that he did not 
succeed in confirming the Gradiva-gait on the 
street. " What a shame ; perhaps you would not 
have needed to take the long journey here." (G. 
p. 69.) She learns also that he has named the bas- 
relief of her " Gradiva," and tells him that her real 
name is Zoe ! 

" The name suits you beautifully, but it sounds 
to me like bitter mockery, for ' Zoe ' means ' life.' " 

" One must adapt himself to the inevitable," 
she responds. " And I have long accustomed 
myself to being dead." 

With the promise to be at the same place again 
on the morrow, she takes leave of him, after she 
has obtained the asphodel cluster. " To those who 
are more fortunate one gives roses in spring, but 
for me the flower of oblivion is the right one from 
your hand." (G. p. 70.) Melancholy is suited to 
one so long dead, who has now returned to life for 
a few short hours. 

We begin now to understand and to hope. If 
the young lady, in whose form Gradiva is again 
revived, accepts Hanold's delusion so completely, 
she does it probably to free him from it. No 
other course is open ; by opposition, one would 
destroy that possibility. Even the serious treat- 
ment of a real condition of this kind could proceed 
no differently than to place itself first on the ground 
story of the delusion-structure, and investigate 
it then as thoroughly as possible. If Zoe is the 


right person, we shall soon learn how one cures 
delusions like those of our hero. We should also 
like to know how such a delusion originates. It 
would be very striking, and yet not without example 
and parallel, if the treatment and investigation of 
the delusion should coincide and, while it is being 
analysed, result in the explanation of its origin. 
We have a suspicion, of course, that our case might 
then turn out to be an " ordinary " love story, 
but one may not scorn love as a healing power for 
delusions ; and was not our hero's captivation by 
the Gradiva-relief also a complete infatuation, 
directed, to be sure, at the past and lifeless ? 

After Gradiva's disappearance, there is heard 
once more a distant sound like the merry note of 
a bird flying over the city of ruins. The man who 
has remained behind picks up something white, 
which Gradiva has left, not a papyrus leaf, but a 
sketch-book with pencil drawings of Pompeii. We 
should say that the fact that she has forgotten the 
little book, in this place, is a pledge of her return, 
for we assert that one forgets nothing without a 
secret reason or a hidden motive. 

The remainder of the day brings to our hero 
all sorts of remarkable discoveries and facts, which 
he neglects to fit together. In the wall of the 
portico where Gradiva disappeared, he notices 
to-day a narrow cleft, which is, however, wide 
enough to afford passage to an unusually slender 
figure. He recognizes the fact that Zoe- Gradiva 
does not need to sink into the ground here, an 
idea which is so senseless that he is now ashamed 
of the discarded belief, but that she uses this route 
to go back to her tomb. A faint shadow seems to 



him to dissolve at the end of the Street of Tombs, 
before the so-called Villa of Diomede. Dizzy, as 
on the previous day, and occupied with the same 
problem, he wanders now about Pompeii, wonder- 
ing of what physical nature Zoe-Gradiva may be 
and whether one might feel anything if one touched 
her hand. A peculiar impulse urges him to under- 
take this experiment, and yet an equally great 
timidity in connection with the idea restrains him. 
On a hot, sunny slope he meets an older man who, 
from his equipment, must be a zoologist or a 
botanist, and seems to be busy catching things. 
The latter turns to him and says : " Are you in- 
terested in Faraglionensis ? I should hardly have 
supposed it, but it seems thoroughly probable that 
they are found, not only in the Faraglioni of Capri, 
but also dwell permanently on the mainland. The 
method suggested by my colleague, Eimer, is 
really good ; I have already used it often with 
the best of success. Please remain quite still." 
{G. p. 74.) The speaker stops talking then, and 
holds a little snare, made of a long grass-blade, 
before a narrow crevice, from which the blue, 
chatoyant, little head of a lizard peeps. Hanold 
leaves the lizard-hunter with the critical thought 
that it is hardly credible what foolishly remarkable 
purposes can cause people to make the long trip to 
Pompeii, in which criticism he does not, of course, 
include himself and his intention of seeking foot- 
prints of Gradiva in the ashes of Pompeii. The 
gentleman's face, moreover, seems familiar to him, 
as if he has noticed it casually in one of the two 
hotels ; the man's manner of addressing him has 
also sounded as if directed at an acquaintance. As 


he continues his wandering, a side street leads him 
to a house not previously discovered by him ; this 
proves to be the " Albergo del Sole." The hotel- 
keeper, who is not busy, avails himself of the 
opportunity to recommend highly his house and 
the excavated treasures in it. He asserts that he 
was present when there were found near the Forum 
the young lovers who, on realizing their inevitable 
destruction, had clasped each other in firm embrace 
and thus awaited death. Hanold has already 
heard of that before, and shrugged his shoulders 
over it, as a fabulous invention of some especially 
imaginative narrator, but to-day the words of the 
hotel-keeper awaken in him credulity, which soon 
stretches itself more when the former brings forth 
a metal brooch encrusted with green patina, which, 
in his presence, was gathered, with the remains 
of the girl, from the ashes. He secures this brooch 
without further critical consideration, and when, as 
he is leaving the hotel, he sees in an open window, 
nodding down, a cluster of white asphodel blossoms, 
the sight of the grave-flower thrills him as an attes- 
tation of the genuineness of his new possession. 

With this brooch, however, a new delusion takes 
possession of him or, rather, the old one continues 
for a while, apparently not a good omen for the 
treatment which has been started. Not far from 
the Forum a couple of young lovers were excavated 
in an embrace, and in the dream he saw Gradiva 
lie down to sleep in that very neighbourhood, at 
the Apollo temple. Was it not possible that in 
reality she went still farther from the Forum to 
meet there some one with whom she then died ? 

A tormenting feeling, which we can perhaps com- 


pare to jealousy, originates from this supposition. 
He appeases it by referring to the uncertainty of 
the combination, and so far regains his senses as to 
be able to have his evening meal in " Hotel Diomed." 
His attention is attracted by two newly arrived 
guests, a man and a woman, whom, because of a 
certain resemblance, he considers brother and sister 
— in spite of the difference in the colour of their 
hair. They are the first people whom he has 
encountered on this trip who seem possibly con- 
genial. A red Sorrento rose, which the young 
girl wears, awakes in him some memory — he cannot 
recall what. Finally he goes to bed and dreams ; 
it is remarkable nonsense, but apparently con- 
cocted of the day's experiences. " Somewhere in 
the sun Gradiva sat making a trap out of a blade 
of grass, in order to catch a lizard, and she said, 
* Please stay quite still — my colleague is right ; 
the method is really good, and she has used it with 
greatest success ! ' " He resists the dream, even 
in his sleep, with the criticism that it is, of course, 
utter madness, and he succeeds in getting rid of it 
with the aid of an invisible bird, who utters a 
short, merry call and carries the lizard away in 
his beak. 

In spite of all this ghostly visitation, he awakes 
rather cleared and settled mentally. A rose-bush, 
which bears flowers of the kind that he noticed 
yesterday on the young lady, recalls to him that 
in the night some one said that in the spring one 
gave roses. He plucks some of the roses involun- 
tarily, and there must be some association with 
these which has a liberating effect upon his mind. 
Rid of his aversion to human beings, he takes the 


customary road to Pompeii, laden with the roses, 
the brooch and the sketch-book, and occupied by 
the different problems relating to Gradiva. The 
old delusion has become full of flaws ; he already 
doubts if she is permitted to stay in Pompeii in 
the noon hour only, and not at other times. 
Emphasis, on that account, is transferred to the 
object recently acquired, and the jealousy con- 
nected with it torments him in all sorts of disguises. 
He might almost wish that the apparition should 
remain visible to only his eyes and escape the notice 
of others ; in that way, he might consider her his 
exclusive property. During his ramble awaiting 
the noon hour he has a surprising encounter. In 
the Casa del Fauno he happens upon two people 
who doubtless believe themselves undiscoverable 
in a nook, for they are embracing each other and 
their lips meet. With amazement he recognizes in 
them the congenial couple of yesterday evening ; 
but for brother and sister their present position, 
the embrace and the kiss are of too long duration. 
So it is a couple of lovers, probably a young bridal 
couple, another Augustus and Gretchen. Strange 
to relate, the sight of this now arouses in him 
nothing but pleasure, and fearful, as if he had 
disturbed a secret act of devotion, he withdraws 
unobserved. A deference which has long been 
lacking in him has been restored. 

Arriving at Meleager's house, he is afraid that 
he may find Gradiva in the company of another 
man, and becomes so excited about it that he can 
find no other greeting for her than the question : 
" Are you alone ? " With difficulty she makes 
him realize that he has picked the roses for her ; 


he confesses to her the latest delusion, that she is 
the girl who was found in the Forum in her lover's 
embrace and to whom the green brooch had be- 
longed. Not without mockery, she inquires if he 
found the piece in the sun. The latter — here called 
" Sole " — brings to light many things of that sort. 
As cure for the dizziness which he admits, she 
proposes to him to share a lunch with her and offers 
him half of a piece of white bread wrapped in tissue 
paper ; the other half of this she consumes with 
apparent appetite. Thereat her faultless teeth 
gleam between her lips and, in biting the crust, 
cause a slight crunching sound. To her remark, 
" It seems to me as if we had already eaten our 
bread thus together once two thousand years ago. 
Can't you remember it ? " {G. p. 88.) he cannot 
answer, but the strengthening of his mind by the 
nourishment, and all the evidences of present time 
in her do not fail to have effect on him. Reason 
stirs in him and makes him doubt the whole de- 
lusion that Gradiva is only a noonday ghost ; on 
the other hand, there is the objection that she, 
herself, has just said that she had already shared 
her repast with him two thousand years ago. As 
a means of settling this conflict there occurs to 
him an experiment which he executes with slyness 
and restored courage. Her left hand, with its 
slender fingers, is resting on her knees, and one of 
the house-flies, about whose boldness and worth- 
lessness he formerly became so indignant, alights 
on this hand. Suddenly Hanold's hand rises and 
claps, with no gentle stroke, on the fly and on 
Gradiva's hand. This bold experiment affords 
him twofold success : first the joyous conviction 


that he actually touched a really living, warm hand, 
then, however, a reprimand, before which he starts 
up in terror from his seat on the step. For from 
Gradiva's lips come the words, after she has re- 
covered from her amazement, " You are surely 
apparently crazy, Norbert Hanold." 

Calling a person by name is recognized as the 
best method of awakening him, when he is sleep- 
ing, or of awakening a somnambulist. Unfortu- 
nately we are not permitted to observe the results, 
for Norbert Hanold, of Gradiva's caUing his name, 
which he had told to no one in Pompeii. For 
at this critical moment, the congenial lovers appear 
from the Casa del Fauno and the young lady calls, 
in a tone of pleasant surprise, " Zoe ! You here, 
too ? and also on your honeymoon ? You have 
not written me a word about it, you know." 
Before this new proof of the living reality of 
Gradiva, Hanold flees. 

Zoe-Gradiva, too, is not most pleasantly sur- 
prised by the unexpected visit which disturbs her, 
it seems, in an important piece of work. Soon 
composed, she answers the question with a glib 
speech, in which she informs her friend, and 
especially us, about the situation ; and thereby she 
knows how to get rid of the young couple. She 
extends her compliments, but she is not on her 
wedding- trip. " The young man who just went 
out is labouring also under a remarkable delusion ; 
it seems to me that he believes a jdy is buzzing 
in his head ; well, every one has, of course, some 
kind of bee in his bonnet. As is my duty, I have 
some knowledge of entomology and can, therefore, 
be of a little service in such cases. My father 


and I live in the ' Sole ' ; he, too, had a sudden 
and pleasing idea of bringing me here with him 
if I would be responsible for my own entertainment 
and make no demands upon him. I said to myself 
that I should certainly dig up something interest- 
ing alone here. Of course I had not reckoned at 
all on the find which I made — I mean the good 
fortune of meeting you, Gisa." {G. p. 92.) Zoe 
now feels obliged to leave at once, to be company 
for her father at the " Sole." So she goes, after 
she has introduced herself to us as the daughter 
of the zoologist and lizard-catcher, and has admitted 
in ambiguous words her therapeutic intentions and 
other secret ones. The direction which she takes is 
not that of the " Sun Hotel," in which her father 
is awaiting her, but it seems to her, too, that in 
the region of the Villa of Diomede a shadowy form 
is seeking its burial-place and disappears under one 
of the monuments ; therefore, with foot poised each 
time almost perpendicularly, she directs her steps 
to the Street of Tombs. Thither, in shame and 
confusion, Hanold has fled, and is wandering up 
and down in the portico of the court without stop- 
ping, occupied Avith settling the rest of his problem 
by mental efforts. One thing has become un- 
impeachably clear to him ; that he was utterly 
foolish and irrational to believe that he communed 
with a young Pompeiian girl who had become 
more or less physically alive again ; and this clear 
insight into his madness forms incontestably an 
essential bit of progress in the return to sound 
reason. On the other hand, however, this living 
girl, with whom other people also communicate, 
as with one of a corporeal reality like theirs, is 


Gradiva, and she knows his name ; for the sohition 
of this riddle his scarcely awakened reason is not 
strong enough. Emotionally, also, he is not calm 
enough to be equal to so difficult a task, for he 
would most gladly have been buried two thousand 
years ago in the Villa of Diomede, only to be sure 
of never meeting Zoe-Gradiva again. A violent 
longing to see her struggles meanwhile with the 
remnants of the inclination to flee, which has 
persisted in him. 

Turning at one of the four corners of the colon- 
nade, he suddenly recoils. On a fragmentary wall- 
ruin there sits one of the girls who met death here 
in the Villa of Diomede ; but that attempt to take 
refuge again in the realm of madness is soon put 
aside ; no, it is Gradiva, who has apparently 
come to give him the last bit of her treatment. 
She interprets rightly his first instinctive movement 
to flee, as an attempt to leave the place, and points 
out to him that he cannot escape, for outside a 
frightful cloudburst is in progress. The merci- 
less girl begins the examination with the question 
as to what he intended in connection with the fly 
on her hand. He does not find courage to make 
use of a definite pronoun, but acquires the more 
valuable kind needed to put the deciding question. 

" I was — as they say — somewhat confused men- 
tally and ask pardon that I — the hand — in that 
way — how I could be so stupid, I can't understand 
— but I can't understand either how its owner 
could use my name in upbraiding me for my — my 
madness." {G. p. 98.) 

" Your power of understanding has not yet 
progressed that far, Norbert Hanold. Of course, I 


cannot be surprised, for you have long ago accus- 
tomed me to it. To make that discovery again, 
I should not have needed to come to Pompeii, 
and you could have confirmed it for me a good 
hundred miles nearer." 

" A good hundred miles nearer ; diagonally 
across from your house, in the corner house ; in 
my window, in a cage, is a canary," she discloses 
to the still bewildered man. 

This last word touches the hero like a memory 
from afar. That is surely the same bird whose 
song has suggested to him the trip to Italy. 

" In that house lives my father, Richard Bert- 
gang, professor of zoology." 

As his neighbour, therefore, she is acquainted 
with him and his name. It seems as if the dis- 
appointment of a superficial solution is threatening 
us — a solution unworthy of our expectations. 

As yet Norbert Hanold shows no regained in- 
dependence of thought, when he repeats, " Then 
are you — are you Miss Zoe Bertgang ? But she 
looked quite different " 

Miss Bertgang's answer shows then that other 
relations besides those of neighbourliness have 
existed between them. She knows how to inter- 
cede for the familiar manner of address, which he 
has, of course, used to the noonday spirit, but 
withdrawn again from the living girl ; she makes 
former privileges of use to her here. " If you 
find that form of address more suitable between 
us, I can use it too, you know, but the other came 
to me more naturally. I don't know whether I 
looked different when we used to run about before 
with each other as friends, every day, and occa- 


sionally beat and cuffed each other for a change, 
but if, in recent years, you had favoured me with 
even one glance you might perhaps have seen that 
I have looked like this for a long time." 

A childhood friendship had therefore existed 
between the two, perhaps a childhood love, from 
which the familiar form of address derived its 
justification. Isn't this solution perhaps as super- 
ficial as the one first supposed ? The fact that 
it occurs to us that this childhood relation explains 
in an unexpected way so many details of what has 
occurred in the present intercourse between them 
makes the matter essentially deeper. Does it not 
seem that the blow on Zoe-Gradiva's hand which 
Norbert Hanold has so splendidly motivated by 
the necessity of solving, experimentally, the ques- 
tion of the physical existence of the apparition, 
is, from another standpoint, remarkably similar to 
a revival of the impulse for " beating and cuff- 
ing," whose sway in childhood Zoe's words have 
testified to ? And when Gradiva puts to the 
archaeologist the question whether it does not 
seem to him that they have once already, two 
thousand years ago, shared their luncheon, does 
not the incomprehensible question become suddenly 
senseful, when we substitute for the historical 
past the personal childhood, whose memories per- 
sist vividly for the girl, but seem to be forgotten 
by the young man ? Does not the idea suddenly 
dawn upon us that the fancies of the young man 
about his Gradiva may be an echo of his childhood 
memories ? Then they would, therefore, be no 
arbitrary products of his imagination, but deter- 
mined, without his knowing it, by the existing 


material of childhood impressions already for- 
gotten, but still active in him. We must be able 
to point out in detail the origin of these fancies, 
even if only by conjecture. If, for instance, 
Gradiva must be of pure Greek ancestry, the 
daughter of a respected man, perhaps of a priest 
of Ceres, that predisposes us fairly well for an 
after-effect of the knowledge of her Greek name — 
Zoe, and of her membership in the family of a 
professor of zoology. If, however, these fancies of 
Hanold's are transformed memories, we may expect 
to find in the disclosures of Zoe Bertgang, the 
suggestion of the sources of these fancies. Let us 
listen ; she tells us of an intimate friendship of 
childhood ; we shall soon learn what further de- 
velopment this childhood relation had in both. 

" Then up to the time when people call us 
* Backfisch,' for some unknown reason, I had 
really acquired a remarkable attachment for you, 
and thought that I could never find a more pleasing 
friend in the world. Mother, sister, or brother I 
had not, you know ; to my father a slow-worm 
in alcohol was far more interesting than I, and 
people (I count girls such) must surely have 
something with which they can occupy their 
thoughts and the like. Then you were that some- 
thing, but when archaeology overcame you, I 
made the discovery that you — excuse the fami- 
liarity, but your new formality sounds absurd to 
me — I was saying that I imagined that you had 
become an intolerable person, who had no longer, 
at least for me, an eye in his head, a tongue in 
his mouth, nor any of the memories that I retained 
of our childhood friendship. So I probably looked 


different from what I did formerly, for when, 
occasionally, I met you at a party, even last winter, 
you did not look at me and I did not hear your 
voice ; in this, of course, there was nothing that 
marked me out especially, for you treated all the 
others in the same way. To you I w^as but air, 
and you, with your shock of light hair, which I 
had formerly pulled so often, were as boresome, 
dry and tongue-tied as a stuffed cockatoo and at 
the same time as grandiose as an — archseopteryx ; 
I believe the excavated antediluvian bird-monster 
is so called ; but that your head harboured an im- 
agination so magnificent as here in Pompeii to con- 
sider me as something excavated and restored to 
life— I had not surmised that of you, and when 
you suddenly stood before me unexpectedly, it 
cost me some effort at first to understand what 
kind of incredible fancy your imagination had in- 
vented. Then I was amused and, in spite of its 
madness, it was not entirely displeasing to me. 
For, as I said, I had not expected it of you." 
(G. p. 101.) 

So she thus tells us clearly enough what, with 
the years, has become of the childhood friendship 
for both of them. With her it expanded into an 
intense love affair, for one must have something, 
you know, to which one, that is, a girl, pins her 
affections. Miss Zoe, the incarnation of clever- 
ness and clarity, makes her psychic life, too, quite 
transparent for us. If it is already the general 
rule for a normal girl that she first turns her 
affection to her father, she is especially ready to 
do it, she who has no one but her father in her 
family ; but this father has nothing left for her ; 


the objects of science have captured all his interest. 
So she has to look around for another person, 
and clings with especial fervour to the playmate 
of her youth. When he, too, no longer has any 
eyes for her, it does not destroy her love, rather 
augments it, for he has become like her father, 
like him absorbed by science and, by it, isolated 
from life and from Zoe. So it is granted to her 
to be faithful in unfaithfulness, to find her father 
again in her beloved, to embrace both with the 
same feeling as we may say, to make them both 
identical in her emotions. Where do we get 
justification for this little psychological analysis, 
which may easily seem autocratic ? In a single, 
but intensely characteristic detail the author of 
the romance gives it to us. When Zoe pictures 
for us the transformation of the playmate of her 
youth, which seems so sad for her, she insults 
him by a comparison with the archseopteryx, 
that bird-monster which belongs to the archaeo- 
logy of zoology. So she has found a single con- 
crete expression for identifying the two people ; 
her resentment strikes the beloved as well as the 
father with the same word. The archseopteryx is, 
so to speak, the compromise, or intermediary 
representation in which the folly of her beloved 
coincides with her thought of an analogous folly 
of her father. 

With the young man, things have taken a dif- 
ferent turn. The science of antiquity overcame 
him and left to him interest only in the women 
of bronze and stone. The childhood friendship 
died, instead of developing into a passion, and the 
memories of it passed into such absolute forget- 


fulness that he does not recognize nor pay any 
attention to the friend of his youth, when he meets 
her in society. Of course, when we continue our 
observations, we may doubt if " forgetfulness " is 
the right psychological term for the fate of these 
memories of our archaeologist. There is a kind 
of forgetting which distinguishes itself by the 
difficulty with which the memory is awakened, 
even by strong objective appeals, as if a subjec- 
tive resistance struggled against the revival. 
Such forgetting has received the name " repres- 
sion " in psychopathology ; the case which Jensen 
has presented to us seems to be an example of 
repression. Now we do not know, in general, 
whether, in psychic life, forgetting an impression 
is connected with the destruction of its memory- 
trace ; about repression we can assert with cer- 
tainty that it does not coincide with the destruc- 
tion, the obliteration, of the memory. The re- 
pressed material cannot, as a rule, break through, 
of itself, as a memory, but remains potent and 
effective. Some day, under external influence, it 
causes psychic results which one may accept as 
products of transformation or as remnants of for- 
gotten memories ; and if one does not view them 
as such, they remain incomprehensible. In the 
fancies of Norbert Hanold about Gradiva, we 
thought we recognized already the remnants of 
the repressed memories of his childhood friend- 
ship with Zoe Bertgang. Quite legitimately one 
may expect such a recurrence of the repressed 
material, if the man's erotic feelings chng to the 
repressed ideas, if his erotic life has been involved 
in the repression. Then there is truth in the old 


Latin proverb which was perhaps originally aimed 
at expulsion through external influences, not at 
inner conflict : " You may drive out natural 
disposition with a two-pronged fork, but it will 
always return," but it does not tell all, announces 
only the fact of the recurrence of repressed material, 
and does not describe at all the most remarkable 
manner of this recurrence, which is accomplished 
as if by malicious treason ; the very thing which 
has been chosen as a means of repression — like the 
" two-pronged fork " of the proverb — becomes the 
carrier of the thing recurring ; in and behind the 
agencies of repression the material repressed finally 
asserts itself victoriously. A well-known etching 
by Felicien Rops illustrates this fact, which is 
generally overlooked and lacks acceptance, more 
impressively than many explanations could ; and 
he does it in the typical case of the repression in 
the lives of saints and penitents. From the tempta- 
tions of the world, an ascetic monk has sought 
refuge in the image of the crucified Saviour. Then, 
phantom-like, this cross sinks and, in its stead, 
there rises shining, the image of a voluptuous, 
unclad woman, in the same position of the cruci- 
fixion. Other painters of less psychological insight 
have, in such representations of temptation, de- 
picted sin as bold and triumphant, near the Saviour 
on the cross. Rops, alone, has allowed it to take 
the place of the Saviour on the cross ; he seems to 
have known that the thing repressed proceeds, at 
its recurrence, from the agency of repression itself. 
If Norbert Hanold were a living person, who 
had, by means of archaeology, driven love and 
the memory of his childhood friendship out of 


his life, it would now be legitimate and correct 
that an antique relief should awaken in him the 
forgotten memory of the girl beloved in his child- 
hood ; it would be his well-deserved fate to have 
fallen in love with the stone representation of 
Gradiva, behind which, by virtue of an unex- 
plained resemblance, the living and neglected Zoe 
becomes effective. 

Miss Zoe, herself, seems to share our conception 
of the delusion of the young archaeologist, for the 
pleasure which she expresses at the end of her 
" unreserved, detailed and instructive lecture " is 
hardly based on anything other than her readiness 
to refer his entire interest in Gradiva to her person. 
This is exactly what she does not believe him 
capable of, and what, in spite of all the disguises of 
the delusion, she recognizes as such. Her psychic 
treatment of him has a beneficent effect ; he feels 
himself free, as the delusion is now replaced by 
that of which it can be only a distorted and un- 
satisfactory copy. He immediately remembers and 
recognizes her as his good, cheerful, clever comrade 
who has not changed essentially ; but he finds 
something else most strange — 

" That a person must die to become alive again," 
says the girl, " but for archaeologists that is of 
course necessary," (G. p. 102.) She has appar- 
ently not yet pardoned him for the detour which 
he made from the childhood friendship through 
the science of antiquity to this relation which 
has recently been established. 

" No, I mean your name — Because Bertgang has 
the same meaning as Gradiva and signifies ' the 
one splendid in walking.' " (G. p. 102.) 



Even we are not prepared for that. Our hero 
begins to rise from his humihty and to play an 
active role. He is, apparently, entirely cured of 
his delusion, lifted far above it, and proves this by 
tearing asunder the last threads of the web of 
delusion. Patients, also, who have been freed 
from the compulsion of their delusion, by the 
disclosure of the repression behind it, always act 
in just that way. WQien they have once under- 
stood, they themselves offer the solutions for the 
last and most significant riddles of their strange 
condition in suddenly emerging ideas. We had 
already believed, of course, that the Greek an- 
cestry of the mythical Gradiva was an after-effect 
of the Greek name, Zoe, but with the name, Gradiva, 
we had ventured nothing ; we had supposed it the 
free creation of Norbert Hanold's imagination, and 
behold ! this very name now shows itself to be 
a remnant, really a translation of the repressed 
family-name of the supposedly forgotten beloved 
of his youth. 

The derivation and solution of the delusion are 
now completed. What follows may well serve as 
a harmonious conclusion of the tale. In regard 
to the future, it can have only a pleasant effect 
on us, if the rehabilitation of the man, who for- 
merly had to play the lamentable role of one 
needing to be cured, progresses, and he succeeds 
in awakening in the girl some of the emotions 
which he formerly experienced. Thus it happens 
that he makes her jealous by mentioning the con- 
genial young lady, who disturbed them in Meleager's 
house, and by the acknowledgment that the latter 
was the first girl who had impressed him much. 


When Zoe is then about to take a cool departure, 
with the remark that now everything is reasonable 
again, she herself not least of all, that he might 
look up Gisa Hartleben, or whatever her name might 
now be, and be of scientific assistance to her about 
the purpose of her stay in Pompeii, but she has to 
go now to the " Albergo del Sole " where her father 
is already waiting for her at lunch, perhaps they 
may see each other again some time at a party 
in Germany or on the moon, he seizes upon the 
troublesome fly as a means of taking possession 
of her cheek, first, and then of her lips, and assumes 
the aggressive, which is the duty of a man in the 
game of love. Only once more does a shadow 
seem to fall on their happiness, when Zoe reminds 
him that now she must really go to her father, who 
will otherwise starve in the " Sole." " Your 

father— what will he ? " {G. p. 106.) 

But the clever girl knows how to silence the 
apprehension quickly. " Probably he will do 
nothing ; I am not an indispensable piece in his 
zoological collection ; if I were, my heart would 
probably not have clung to you so unwisely." 
Should the father, however, by way of exception, 
in this case, have an opinion different from hers, 
there is a sure method. Hanold needs only to go 
over to Capri, there catch a lacerta faraglionensis, 
for which purpose he may practise the technique 
on her little finger, then set the animal free again 
here, catch it before the eyes of the zoologist and 
give him the choice of the faraglionensis on the 
mainland or his daughter, a proposal in which 
mockery, as one may easily note, is combined 
with bitterness, an admonition to the betrothed. 


also, not to follow too closely the model after 
which his beloved has chosen him. Norbert 
Hanold sets us at rest on this matter, as he ex- 
presses, by all sorts of apparently trivial symp- 
toms, the great transformation which has come 
over him. He voices the intention of taking a 
wedding trip with his Zoe to Italy and Pompeii, 
as if he had never been indignant at the newly 
married travellers, Augustus and Gretchen. His 
feelings towards this happy couple, who so un- 
necessarily travelled more than one hundred miles 
from their German home, have entirely disappeared 
from his memory. Certainly the author is right 
when he cites such weakening of memory as the 
most valuable mark of a mental change. Zoe 
replies to the announced desire about the des- 
tination of their journey, " by her childhood friend 
who had, in a way, also been excavated from the 
ashes, ^' (G. p. 108), that she does not yet feel quite 
alive enough for such geographical decision. 

Beautiful reality has now triumphed over the 
delusion. Yet an honour still awaits the latter 
before the two leave Pompeii. When they have 
arrived at the Hercules Gate, where, at the begin- 
ning of the Strada Consolare, old stepping-stones 
cross the street, Norbert Hanold stops and asks 
the girl to go ahead. She understands him and, 
" raising her dress slightly with her left hand, 
Gradiva rediviva Zoe Berfcgang, viewed by him 
with dreamily observing eyes, crossed with her 
calmly buoyant walk, through the sunlight, over 
the stepping-stones." With the triumph of eroti- 
cism, what was beautiful and valuable in the de- 
lusion is now acknowledged. 


With the last comparison of " the childhood 
friend excavated from the ashes," the author of 
the story has, however, put into our hand the key 
of the symbolism which the delusion of the hero 
made use of in the disguise of the repressed memory. 
There is no better analogy for repression, which 
at the same time makes inaccessible and conserves 
something psychic, than the burial which was the 
fate of Pompeii, and from which the city was able 
to arise again through work with the spade. There- 
fore in his imagination the young archaeologist had 
to transport to Pompeii the original figure of the 
relief which reminded him of the forgotten beloved 
of his youth. Jensen, however, had a good right 
to linger over the significant resemblance which 
his fine sense traced out between a bit of psychic 
occurrence in the individual and a single historical 
event in the history of man. 


IT was really our intention to investigate with 
the aid of definite analytic method only the 
two or three dreams which are found in the tale 
Gradiva ; how did it happen then that we allowed 
ourselves to be carried away with the analysis of 
the whole story and the examination of the 
psychic processes of the two chief characters ? 
Well, that was no superfluous work, but a necessary 
preparation. Even when we wish to understand 
the real dreams of an actual person, we must 
concern ourselves intensively with the character and 
the fortunes of this person, not only the experiences 
shortly before the dream, but also those of the 
remote past. I think, however, that we are not 
yet free to turn to our real task, but must still 
linger over the piece of fiction itself, and perform 
more preparatory work. 

Our readers will, of course, have noticed with 
surprise that till now we have considered Norbert 
Hanold and Zoe Bertgang in all their psychic 
expressions and activities, as if they were real 
individuals and not creatures of an author, as if 
the mind of their creator were absolutely trans- 
parent, not a refractory and cloudy medium ; and 
our procedure must seem all the more surprising 
when the author of Gradiva expressly disavows 



the portrayal of reality by calling his tale a 
" Fancy." We find, however, that all his pictures 
copy reality so faithfully that we should not 
contradict if Gradiva were called not a " Fancy," 
but a study in psychiatry. Only in two points 
has Wilhelm Jensen made use of his license, to 
create suppositions which do not seem to have 
roots in the earth of actual law : first, when he 
has the young archaeologist find a genuinely 
antique bas-relief which, not only in the detail of 
the position of the foot in walking, but in all 
details, the shape of the face, and the bearing, 
copies a person living much later, so that he can 
consider the physical manifestation of this person 
to be the cast endowed with life ; second, when 
the hero is caused to meet the living girl in Pompeii, 
whither his fancy has transported the dead girl, 
while he separates himself, by the journe}^ to 
Pompeii, from the living girl, whom he has noticed 
on the street of his home city ; this second instance 
is no tremendous deviation from the possibilities 
of life ; it asks aid only of chance, which undeniably 
plays a part in so many human fates, and, more- 
over, makes it reasonable, for this chance reflects 
again the destiny which has decreed that through 
flight one is delivered over to the very thing that 
one is fleeing from. More fantastic, and originating 
solely in the author's arbitrariness, seems the first 
supposition which brings in its train the detailed 
resemblance of the cast to the living girl, where 
moderation might have limited the conformity to 
the one trait of the position of the foot in walking. 
One might then have tried to let one's own 
imagination play in order to establish connection 


with reality. The name Bertgang might point to 
the fact that the women of that family had been 
distinguished, even in ancient times, by the char- 
acteristic of a beautiful gait, and by heredity the 
German Bertgang was connected with those Romans, 
a woman of whose family had caused the ancient 
artist to fix in a bas-relief the peculiarity of her 
walk. As the individual variations of human 
structure are, however, not independent of one 
another, and as the ancient types, which we come 
upon in the collections, are actually always emerging 
again in our midst, it would not be entirely 
impossible that a modern Bertgang should repeat 
again the form of her ancient forbear, even in 
all the other traits of her physique. Inquiry of 
the author of the story for the sources of this 
creation might well be wiser than such speculation ; 
a good prospect of solving again a bit of supposed 
arbitrariness would probably then appear. As, 
however, we have not access to the psychic life 
of the author, we leave to him the undiminished 
right of building up a thoroughly vahd develop- 
ment on an improbable supposition, a right which 
Shakespeare, for example, has asserted in King 

Otherwise, we wish to repeat, Wilhelm Jensen has 
given us an absolutely correct study in psychiatry, 
in which we may measure our understanding of 
psychic life, a story of illness and cure adapted to 
the inculcation of certain fundamental teachings of 
medical psychology. Strange enough that he should 
have done this ! What if, in reply to questioning, 
he should deny this intention ? It is so easy to 
draw comparisons and to put constructions on 


things. Are we not rather the ones who have 
woven secret meanings, whieh were foreign to him, 
into the beautiful poetic tale ? Possibly ; we shall 
come back to that later. As a preliminary, how- 
ever, we have tried to refrain from interpretations 
with that tendency, by reproducing the story, in 
almost every case, from the very words of the 
writer ; and we have had him furnish text as well 
as commentary, himself. Any one who will com- 
pare our text with that of Gradiva will have to 
grant this. 

Perhaps in the judgment of the majority we 
are doing a poor service for him when we declare 
his work a study in psychiatry. An author is to 
avoid all contact with psychiatry, we are told, 
and leave to physicians the portrayal of morbid 
psychic conditions. In reality no true author has 
ever heeded this commandment. The portrayal 
of the psychic life of human beings is, of course, 
his most especial domain ; he was always the 
precursor of science and of scientific psychology. 
The borderline between normal and morbid psychic 
conditions is, in a way, a conventional one, and, 
in another way, in such a state of flux that probably 
every one of us oversteps it many times in the 
course of a day. On the other hand, psychiatry 
would do wrong to wish to limit itself continually 
to the study of those serious and cloudy illnesses 
which arise from rude disturbances of the delicate 
psychic apparatus. It has no less interest in the 
lesser and adjustable deviations from the normal 
which we cannot yet trace back farther than 
disturbances in the play of psychic forces ; indeed, 
it is by means of these that it can understand 


normal conditions, as well as the manifestations 
of serious illness. Thus the author cannot yield 
to the psychiatrist nor the psychiatrist to the 
author, and the poetic treatment of a theme from 
psychiatry may result correctly without damage to 

The imaginative representation of the story of 
illness and its treatment, which we can survey 
better after finishing the story and relieving our 
own suspense, is really correct. Now we wish to 
reproduce it with the technical expressions of our 
science, in doing which it will not be necessary to 
repeat what has already been related. 

Norbert Hanold's condition is called a " delusion '* 
often enough by the author of the story, and we 
also have no reason to reject this designation. 
We can mention two chief characteristics of 
" delusion," by which it is not, of course, exhaust- 
ively described, but is admittedly differentiated 
from other disturbances. It belongs first to that 
group of illnesses which do not directly affect the 
physical, but express themselves only by psychic 
signs, and it is distinguished secondly by the 
fact that " fancies " have assumed control, that is, 
are believed and have acquired influence on actions. 
If we recall the journey to Pompeii to seek in the 
ashes the peculiarly-formed foot-prints of Gradiva, 
we have in it a splendid example of an act under 
the sway of the delusion. The psychiatrist would 
perhaps assign Norbert Hanold's delusion to the 
great group of paranoia and designate it as a 
*' fetichistic erotomania," because falling in love 
with the bas-relief would be the most striking 
thing to him and because, to his conception, which 


coarsens everything, the interest of the young 
archaeologist in the feet and foot-position of women 
must seem suspiciously like fetichism. All such 
names and divisions of the different kinds of 
delusion are, however, substantially useless and 

The old-school psychiatrist would, moreover, 
stamp our hero as a degenere, because he is a 
person capable, on account of such strange pre- 
dilections, of developing a delusion, and would 
investigate the heredity which has unrelentingly 
driven him to such a fate. In this, however, 
Jensen does not follow him ; with good reason, he 
brings us nearer to the hero to facilitate for us 
aesthetic sympathy with him ; with the diagnosis 
" degenere," whether or not it may be justifiable to 
us scientifically, the young archaeologist is at once 
moved farther from us, for we, readers, are, of 
course, normal people and the measure of humanity. 
The essential facts of heredity and constitution in 
connection with this condition also concern the 
author of Gradiva little ; instead, he is engrossed 
in the personal, psychic state which can give rise 
to such a delusion. 

In an important point, Norbert Hanold acts 
quite differently from ordinary people. He has no 
interest in the living woman ; science, which he 
serves, has taken this interest from him and 
transferred it to women of stone or bronze. Let us 
not consider this an unimportant peculiarity ; it is 
really the basis of the story, for one day it happens 
that a single such bas-relief claims for itself all 

^ The case N.H. would have to be designated as hysterical, not 
paranoiac delusion. The marks of paranoia are lacking here. 


the interest which would otherwise belong only to 
the living woman, and thereby originates the 
delusion. Before our eyes there is then unfolded 
the story of how this delusion is cured by a 
fortunate set of circumstances, the interest trans- 
ferred back again from the cast to the living girl. 
The author of the story does not allow us to trace 
the influences because of which our hero begins to 
avoid women ; he only suggests to us that such 
conduct is not explained by his predisposition 
which is invested with a rather fanciful — we might 
add, erotic — need. We learn later also that in his 
childhood he did not avoid other children ; he was 
then friendly with the little girl, was inseparable 
from her, shared with her his lunches, cuffed her, 
and was pulled around by her. In such attach- 
ment, such a combination of tenderness and 
aggression, is expressed the incomplete eroticism of 
child life, which expresses its activities first spite- 
fully and then irresistibly and which, during 
childhood, only physicians and writers usually 
recognize as eroticism. Our author gives us to 
understand clearly that he has those intentions, 
for he suddenly causes to awaken in his hero, 
with suitable motive, a lively interest in the gait 
and foot-position of women, an interest which, in 
science, as well as among the ladies of his home- 
city, must bring him into disrepute as a foot- 
fetichist, and is to us, however, necessarily derived 
from the memory of his childhood playmate. The 
girl, to be sure, was characterized, as a child, by 
the beautiful walk with her foot almost perpen- 
dicular as she stepped out, and through the 
portrayal of this very gait an antique bas-relief 


later acquired for Norbert Hanold great significance. 
Let us add, moreover, immediately, that the 
author of Gradiva stands in complete agreement 
with science in regard to the derivation of the 
remarkable manifestation of fetichism. Since the 
investigations by Binet we really try to trace 
fetichism back to erotic impressions of childhood. 
The condition of continued avoidance of women 
gives the personal qualification, as we say, the dis- 
position for the formation of a delusion ; the 
development of psychic disturbance begins at 
the moment when a chance impression awakens the 
forgotten childhood experiences which are emphas- 
ized in an erotic way that is at least traceable. 
Awakened is really not the right term, however, 
when we consider the further results. We must 
reproduce our author's correct representation in 
a mode of expression artistically correct, and 
psychological. On seeing the relief Norbert Hanold 
does not remember that he has seen such a foot- 
position in the friend of his youth ; he certainly 
does not remember and yet every effect of the 
relief proceeds from such connection with the 
impression of his childhood. The childhood-im- 
pression, stirred, becomes active, so that it begins 
to show activity, though it does not appear 
in consciousness, but remains " unconscious," a 
term which we now use unavoidably in psycho- 
pathology. This term " unconscious " we should 
now like to see withdrawn from all the conflicts 
of philosophers and natural philosophers, which 
have only etymological significance. For psychic 
processes which are active and yet at the same 
time do not come through into the consciousness 


of the person referred to, we have at present no 
better name and we mean nothing else by " uncon- 
sciousness." If many thinkers wish to dispute as 
unreasonable the existence of such an unconscious, 
we think they have never busied themselves with 
analogous psychic phenomena, and are under the 
spell of the common idea that everything psychic 
which is active and intensive becomes, thereby, at 
the same time, conscious, and they have still to 
learn what our author knows very well, that there 
are, of course, psychic processes, which, in spite of 
the fact that they are intensive and show energetic 
activities, remain far removed from consciousness. 
We said once that the memories of the childhood 
relations with Zoe are in a state of " repression " 
with Norbert Hanold ; and we have called them 
" unconscious memories." Here we must, of course, 
turn our attention to the relation between the two 
technical terms which seem to coincide in meaning. 
It is not hard to clear this up. " Unconscious " is 
the broader term, " repressed " the narrower. 
Everything that is repressed is unconscious ; but 
we cannot assert that everything unconscious is 
repressed. If Hanold, at the sight of the relief, 
had remembered his Zoe's manner of walking, then 
a formerly unconscious memory would have become 
immediately active and conscious, and thus would 
have shown that it was not formerly repressed. 
" Unconscious " is a purely descriptive term, in 
many respects indefinite and, so to speak, static ; 
" repressed " is a dynamic expression which takes 
into consideration the play of psychic forces and 
the fact that there is present an effort to express 
all psychic activities, among them that of becoming 


conscious again, but also a counterforce, a resistance, 
which might hinder a part of these psychic activities, 
among these, also, getting into consciousness. The 
mark of the repressed material is that, in spite of 
its intensity, it cannot break through into con- 
sciousness. In Hanold's case, therefore, it was a 
matter, at the appearance of the bas-relief on his 
horizon, of a repressed unconscious, in short of a 

The memories of his childhood association with 
the girl who walks beautifully are repressed in 
Norbert Hanold, but this is not yet the correct view 
of the psychological situation. We remain on the 
surface so long as we treat only of memories and 
ideas. The only valuable things in psychic life 
are, rather, the emotions. All psychic powers are 
significant only through their fitness to awaken 
emotions. Ideas are repressed only because they 
are connected with liberations of emotions, which 
are not to come to light ; it would be more correct 
to say that repression deals with the emotions, but 
these are comprehensible to us only in connection 
with ideas. Thus, in Norbert Hanold, the erotic 
feelings are repressed, and, as his eroticism neither 
knows nor has known another object than Zoe 
Bertgang of his youth, the memories of her are 
forgotten. The antique bas-relief awakens the 
slumbering eroticism in him and makes the child- 
hood memories active. On account of a resistance 
in him to the eroticism, these memories can become 
active only as unconscious. What now happens in 
him is a struggle between the power of eroticism 
and the forces that are repressing it ; the result 
of this struggle is a delusion. 


Our author has omitted to give the motive 
whence originates the repression of the erotic hfe 
in his hero ; the latter's interest in science is, of 
course, only the means of which the repression 
makes use ; the physician would have to probe 
deeper here, perhaps in this case without finding 
the foundation. Probably, however, the author 
of Gradivay as we have admiringly emphasized, 
has not hesitated to represent to us how the 
awakening of the repressed eroticism results from 
the very sphere of the means which are serving the 
repression. It is rightly an antique, the bas-relief 
of a woman, through which our archaeologist is 
snatched and admonished out of his alienation 
from love to pay the debt with which we are 
charged by our birth. 

The first manifestations of the process now 
stimulated by the bas-relief are fancies which 
play with the person represented by it. The 
model appears to him to be something " of the 
present," in the best sense, as if the artist had 
fixed the girl walking on the street from life. The 
name, Gradiva, which he forms from the epithet 
of the war-god advancing to battle, Mars Gradivus, 
he lends to the ancient girl ; with more and more 
definitions he endows her with a personality. She 
may be the daughter of an esteemed man, perhaps 
of a patrician, who is associated with the temple 
service of a divinity ; he believes that he reads 
Greek ancestry in her features, and finally this 
forces him to transport her far from the confusion 
of a metropolis to more peaceful Pompeii, where 
he has her walking over the lava stepping-stones 
which make possible the crossing of the street. 


These feats of fancy seem arbitrary enough and 
yet again harmlessly unsuspicious. Even when 
from them is produced, for the first time, the 
impulse to act, when the archaeologist, oppressed 
by the problem whether such foot-position corre- 
sponds to reality, begins observations from life, 
in looking at the feet of contemporary women and 
girls, this act covers itself by conscious, scientific 
motives, as if all the interest in the bas-relief of 
Gradiva had originated in his professional interest 
in archaeology. The women and girls on the 
street, whom he uses as objects for his investigation, 
must, of course, assume a different, coarsely erotic 
conception of his conduct, and we must admit that 
they are right. For us, there is no doubt that 
Hanold knows as little about his motives as about 
the origin of his fancies concerning Gradiva. These 
latter are, as we shall learn later, echoes of his 
memories of the beloved of his youth, remnants of 
these memories, transformations and disfigurements 
of them, after they have failed to push into 
consciousness in unchanged form. The so-called 
aesthetic judgment that the relief represents " some- 
thing of the present " is substituted for the 
knowledge that such a gait belongs to a girl known 
to him and crossing streets in the present ; behind 
the impression " from life " and the fancy about 
her Greek traits, is hidden the memory of her 
name, Zoe, which, in Greek, means life ; Gradiva 
is, as the man finally cured of the delusion tells us, 
a good translation of her family-name, Bertgang, 
which means splendid or magnificent in walking ; 
the decisions about her father arise from the know- 
ledge that Zoe Bertgang is the daughter of an 



esteemed university instructor, which is probably 
translated into the antique as temple service. 
Finally his imagination transports her to Pompeii 
not " because her calm, quiet manner seems to 
require it," but because, in his science, there is 
found no other nor better analogy to the remarkable 
condition in which he has traced out, by vague 
reconnoitring, his memories of his childhood friend- 
ship. If he once covered up what was so close 
to him, his own childhood, with the classic past, 
then the burial of Pompeii, this disappearance, 
with the preservation of the past, offers a striking 
resemblance to the repression of which he has 
knowledge by means of so-called " endopsychic " 
perceptions. The same symbolism, therefore, which 
the author has the girl use consciously at the end 
of the tale, is working in him. 

" I said to myself that I should certainly dig 
up something interesting alone here. Of course, 
I had not reckoned at all on the find which I 
made." (G. p. 92.) At the end (G. p. 108), 
the girl answers to the announced desire about 
the destination of their journey, " by her childhood 
friend who had, in a way, also been excavated 
from the ashes." 

Thus we find at the very beginning of the 
performances of Hanold's fancies and actions, a 
twofold determination, a derivation from two 
different sources. One determination is the one 
which appears to Hanold, himself; the other, the 
one which discloses itself to us upon re-examination 
of his psychic processes. One, the conscious one, 
is related to the person of Hanold ; the other is 
the one entirely unconscious to him. One originates 


entirely from the series of associations connected 
with archaeological science ; the other, however, 
proceeds from the repressed memories which have 
become active in him, and the emotional impulses 
attached to them. The one seems superficial, and 
covers up the other, which masks itself behind 
the former. One might say that the scientific 
motivation serves the unconscious eroticism as 
cloak, and that science has placed itself completely 
at the service of the delusion, but one may not 
forget, either, that the unconscious determination 
can effect nothing but what is at the time satis- 
factory to the scientific conscious. The symptoms 
of delusion — fancies as well as acts — are results of 
a compromise between two psychic streams, and in 
a compromise the demands of each of the two 
parties are considered ; each party has been obliged 
to forego something that he wished to carry out. 
Where a compromise has been established, there 
was a struggle, here the conflict assumed by us 
between the suppressed eroticism and the forces 
which keep it alive in the repression. In the 
formation of a delusion this struggle is never 

Attack and resistance are renewed after every 
compromise-formation, which is, so to speak, never 
fully satisfactory. This our author also knows 
and therefore he causes a feeling of discontent, a 
peculiar restlessness, to dominate his hero in this 
phase of the disturbance, as preliminary to and 
guarantee of further developments. 

These significant peculiarities of the twofold 
determination for fancies and decisions, of the 
formation of conscious pretexts for actions, for 


the motivation of which the repressed has given 
the greater contribution, will, in the further progress 
of the story, occur to us oftener, and perhaps 
more clearly ; and this rightfully, for in this 
Jensen has grasped and represented the never- 
failing, chief characteristic of the morbid psychic 
processes. The development of Norbert Hanold's 
delusion progresses in a dream, which, caused by 
no new event, seems to proceed entirely from his 
psychic life, which is occupied by a conflict. Yet 
let us stop before we proceed to test whether the 
author of Gradiva, in the formation of his dreams, 
meets our expectation of a deeper understanding. 
Let us first ask what psychiatry has to say about 
his ideas of the origin of a delusion, how it stands 
on the matter of the role of repression and the 
unconscious, of conflict and compromise-formation. 
Briefly, can our author's representation of the 
genesis of a delusion stand before the judgment of 
science ? 

And here we must give the perhaps unexpected 
answer that, unfortunatelj^, matters are here actually 
just reversed ; science does not stand before the 
accomplishment of our author. Between the essen- 
tial facts of heredity and constitution, and the 
seemingly complete creations of delusion, there 
yawns a breach which we find filled up by the 
writer of Gradiva. Science does not yet recognize 
the significance of repression nor the fact that it 
needs the unconscious for explanation to the 
world of psychopathological phenomena ; it does 
not seek the basis of delusion in psychic conflict, 
and does not regard its symptoms as a compromise- 
formation. Then our author stands alone against 


all science ? No, not that — if the present writer 
may reckon his own works as science. For he, 
himself, has for some years interceded — and until 
recently almost alone ^ — for the views which he 
finds here in Gradiva by W. Jensen, and he has 
presented them in technical terms. He has pointed 
out exhaustively, for the conditions known as 
hysteria and obsession, the suppression of impulses 
and the repression of the ideas, through w^hich the 
suppressed impulse is represented, as a character- 
istic condition of psychic disturbance, and he has 
repeated the same view soon afterwards for many 
kinds of delusion.^ Whether the impulses which 
are, for this reason, considered are always com- 
ponents of the sex-impulse, or might be of a 
different nature, is a problem of indifference in the 
analysis of Gradiva, as, in the case chosen by the 
author, it is a matter only of the suppression of 
the erotic feeling. The views concerning psychic 
conflict, and the formation of symptoms by com- 
promises between the two psychic forces which are 
struggling with each other, the present writer has 
found valid in cases professionally treated and 
actually observed, in exactly the same way that 
he was able to observe it in Norbert Hanold, the 
invention of our author.^ The tracing back of 
neurotic, especially of hysterically morbid activities 

1 See the important work by E. Bleuler, Affektivitat, Sug- 
gestibilitat, Paranoia, translated by Dr. Charles Ricksher in N. Y. 
State Hospitals Bulletin, Feb,, 1912, and Die diagnostischen Asso- 
ziationsstudien by C. Jung, both Zurich, 1906. 

* Cf. Freud : Sammlung der kleiner Schriften zur Neurosenlehre, 
1906. Translated in part by A. A. Brill, M.D., Ph.B. Nervous 
and Mental Diseases Monograph Series No. 4. Selected Papers on 
Hysteria and other Psychoneuroses. N. Y., 1912. 

3 Cf. Bruchstiick einer Hysteric- Analyse, 1905. 


to the influence of unconscious thoughts, P. Janet, 
the pupil of the great Charcot, had undertaken 
before the present writer, and in conjunction with 
Josef Breuer in Vienna.^ 

It had actually occurred to the present writer, 
when, in the years following 1893, he devoted 
himself to investigations of the origin of psychic 
disturbances, to seek confirmation of his results 
from authors, and therefore it was no slight 
surprise to him to learn that in Gradiva, published 
in 1903, an author gave to his creation the very 
foundation which the former supposed that he, 
himself, was finding authority for, as new, from 
his experiences as a physician. How did the 
author come upon the same knowledge as the 
physician, at least upon a procedure which would 
suggest that he possessed it ? 

Norbert Hanold's delusion, we said, acquires 
further development through a dream, which he 
has in the midst of his efforts to authenticate a 
gait like Gradiva's in the streets of his home-city. 
The content of this dream we can outline briefly. 
The dreamer is in Pompeii on that day which 
brought destruction to the unfortunate city, 
experiences the horrors without himself getting 
into danger, suddenly sees Gradiva walking there 
and immediately understands, as quite natural, 
that, as she is, of course, a Pompeiian, she is living 
in her native city and " without his having any 
suspicion of it, was his contemporary." He is 

* Cf. Breuer u. Freud, Studien, iiher Hysterie, 1905. Leipzig 
and Wien, translated by A. A. Brill, M.D., Ph.B. Nervous and 
Mental Diseases Monograph Series No. 4. Selected Papers on 
Hysteria and other Psychoneuroses. 


seized with fear for her, calls to her, whereupon 
she turns her face toward him momentarily. Yet 
she walks on without heeding him at all, lies down 
on the steps of the Apollo temple, and is buried 
by the rain of ashes, after her face has changed 
colour as if it were turning to white marble, until 
it completely resembles a bas-relief. On awaken- 
ing, he interprets the noise of the metropolis, which 
reaches his ear, as the cries for help of the desperate 
inhabitants of Pompeii and the booming of the 
turbulent sea. The feeling that what he has 
dreamed has really happened to him persists for 
some time after his awakening, and the conviction 
that Gradiva lived in Pompeii and died on that 
fatal day remains from this dream as a new, 
supplementary fact for his delusion. 

It is less easy for us to say what the author of 
Gradiva intended by this dream, and what caused 
him to connect the development of this delusion 
directly with a dream. Assiduous investigation of 
dreams has, to be sure, gathered enough examples 
of the fact that mental disturbance is connected 
with and proceeds from dreams,^ and even in the 
life-history of certain eminent men, impulses for 
important deeds and decisions are said to have 
been engendered by dreams ; but our compre- 
hension does not gain much by these analogies ; 
let us hold, therefore, to our case, the case of the 
archaeologist, Norbert Hanold, a fiction of our 
author. At which end must one lay hold of such 
a dream to introduce meaning into it, if it is not 
to remain an unnecessary adornment of fiction ? 

1 Sante de Sanctis, I. Sogni. (Original in Italian.) Translated 
into German, Die Trdume, by Mr. Otto Schmidt, X901, Halle, a. S. 


I can imagine that the reader exclaims at this 
place : " The dream is, of course, easy to explain — 
a simple anxiety-dream, caused by the noise of the 
metropolis, which is given the new interpretation 
of the destruction of Pompeii, by the archaeologist 
busied with his Pompeiian girl ! " On account of 
the commonly prevailing disregard of the activities 
of dreams, one usually limits the demands for 
dream-explanations so that one seeks for a part 
of the dream-content an external excitation which 
covers itself by means of the content. This 
external excitation for the dream would be given 
by the noise which wakens the sleeper ; the interest 
in this dream would be thereby terminated. Would 
that we had even one reason to suppose that the 
metropolis had been noisier than usual on this 
morning ! If, for example, our author had not 
omitted to inform us that Hanold had that night, 
contrary to his custom, slept by an open window ! 
What a shame that our author didn't take the 
trouble ! And if an anxiety-dream were only so 
simple a thing ! No, this interest is not terminated 
in so simple a way. 

The connection with the external, sensory stimu- 
lus is not at all essential for the dream-formation. 
The sleeper can neglect this excitation from the 
outer world ; he may be awakened by it without 
forming a dream, he may also weave it into his 
dream, as happens here, if it is of no use to him 
from any other motive ; and there is an abundance 
of dreams for whose content such a determination 
by a sensory excitation of the sleeper cannot be 
shown. No, let us try another way. 

Perhaps we can start from the residue which 


the dream leaves in Hanold's waking life. It 
had formerly been his fancy that Gradiva was 
a Pompeiian. Now this assumption becomes a 
certainty and the second certainty is added that 
she was buried there in the year 79.^ Sorrowful 
feelings accompany this progress of the formation 
of the delusion like an echo of the fear which had 
filled the dream. This new grief about Gradiva 
will seem to us not exactly comprehensible ; 
Gradiva would now have been dead for many 
centuries even if she had been saved in the year 
79 from destruction. Or ought one to be permitted 
to squabble thus with either Norbert Hanold or his 
creator ? Here, too, no way seems to lead to ex- 
planation. We wish, nevertheless, to remark that a 
very painful, emotional stress clings to the augmen- 
tation which the delusion derives from this dream. 

Otherwise, however, our perplexity is not dis- 
pelled. This dream does not explain itself; we 
must decide to borrow from Traumdeutung by the 
present writer, and to use some of the rules given 
there for the solution of dreams. 

One of these rules is that a dream is regularly 
connected with the day before the dream. Our 
author seems to wish to intimate that he has 
followed this rule by connecting the dream directly 
with Hanold's " pedestrian investigations." Now 
the latter means nothing but a search for Gradiva 
whom he expects to recognize by her characteristic 
manner of walking. The dream ought, therefore, 
to contain a reference to where Gradiva is to be 
found. It really does contain it by showing her 
in Pompeii, but that is no news for us. 

' Compare the text of Gradiva, p. 21. 


Another rule says : If, after the dream, the 
reahty of the dream-pictures continues unusually 
long so that one cannot free himself from the 
dream, this is not a kind of mistake in judgment 
called forth by the vividness of the dream-pictures, 
but is a psychic act in itself, an assurance which 
refers to the dream-content, that something in it 
is as real as it has been dreamed to be, and one is 
right to believe this assurance. If we stop at 
these two rules, we must decide that the dream 
gives real information about the whereabouts of 
Gradiva, who is being sought. We now know 
Hanold's dream ; does the application of these 
two rules lead to any sensible meaning ? 

Strange to say, yes. This meaning is disguised 
only in a special way so that one does not recognize 
it immediately. Hanold learns in the dream that 
the girl sought lives in the city and in his own 
day. That is, of course, true of Zoe Bertgang, only 
that in his dream the city is not the German 
university-city, but Pompeii, the time not the 
present, but the year 79, according to our reckoning. 
It is a kind of disfigurement by displacement ; 
not Gradiva is transported to the present, but the 
dreamer to the past ; but we are also given the 
essential and new fact that he shares locality and 
time with the girl sought. Whence, then, this 
dissimulation and disguise which must deceive us 
as well as the dreamer about the peculiar meaning 
and content of the dream ? Well, we have already 
means at hand to give us a satisfactory answer to 
this question. 

Let us recall all that we have heard about the 
nature and origin of fancies, these preliminaries of 


delusion. They are substitution for and remnants 
of different repressed memories, which a resistance 
does not allow to push into consciousness, which, 
however, become conscious by heeding the censor 
of resistance, by means of transformations and 
disfigurements. After this compromise is com- 
pleted, the former memories have become fancies, 
which may easily be misunderstood by the conscious 
person, that is, may be understood to be the ruling 
psychic force. Now let us suppose that the dream- 
pictures are the so-called physiological delusion- 
products of a man, the compromise-results of that 
struggle between what is repressed and what is 
dominant, which exist probably even in people 
absolutely normal in the daytime. Then we under- 
stand that we have to consider the dream some- 
thing disfigured behind which there is to be 
sought something else, not disfigured, but, in a 
sense, something offensive, like Hanold's repressed 
memories behind his fancies. One expresses the 
admitted opposition by distinguishing what the 
dreamer remembers on waking, as manifest dream- 
content, from what formed the basis of the dream 
before the censor's disfigurement, the latent dream- 
thoughts. To interpret a dream, then, means to 
translate the manifest dream-content into the 
latent dream-thoughts, which make retrogressive 
the disfigurement that had to be approved by the 
resistance censor. When we turn these delibera- 
tions to the dream which is occupying us, we 
find that the latent dream-thoughts must have 
been as follows : " The girl who has that beautiful 
walk, whom you are seeking, lives really in this 
city with you ; " but in this form the thought could 


not become conscious ; in its way there stood the 
fact that a fancy had estabHshed, as a result of a 
former compromise, the idea that Gradiva was a 
Pompeiian girl, and therefore nothing remained, if 
the actual fact of her living in the same locality 
and at the same time was to be perceived, but to 
assume the disfigurement : you are living in 
Pompeii at the time of Gradiva ; and this then is 
the idea which the manifest dream-content realizes 
and represents as a present time which he is living in. 

A dream is rarely the representation, one might 
say the staging, of a single thought, but generally 
of a number of them, a web of thoughts. In 
Hanold's dream there is conspicuous another com- 
ponent of the content, whose disfigurement is 
easily put aside so that one may learn the latent 
idea represented by it. This is the end of the 
dream to which the assurance of reality can also 
be extended. In the dream the beautiful walker, 
Gradiva, is transformed into a bas-relief. That is, 
of course, nothing but an ingenious and poetic 
representation of the actual procedure. Hanold 
had, indeed, transferred his interest from the 
living girl to the bas-relief; the beloved had been 
transformed into a stone relief. The latent dream- 
thoughts, which remain unconscious, wish to trans- 
form the relief back into the living girl ; in 
connection with the foregoing they speak to him 
somewhat as follows : " You are, of course, inter- 
ested in the bas-relief of Gradiva only because it 
reminds you of the present, here-living Zoe." But 
this insight would mean the end of the delusion, 
if it could become conscious. 

Is it our duty to substitute unconscious thoughts 


thus for every single bit of the manifest dream- 
content ? Strictly speaking, yes ; in the inter- 
pretation of a dream which had actually been 
dreamed, we should not be allowed to avoid this 
duty. The dreamer would then have to give us 
an exhaustive account. It is easily understood 
that we cannot enforce such a demand in connection 
with the creature of our author ; we will not, 
however, overlook the fact that we have not yet 
submitted the chief content of this dream to the 
work of interpretation and translation. 

Hanold's dream is, of course, an anxiety-dream. 
Its content is fearful ; anxiety is felt by the 
dreamer in sleep, and painful feelings remain after 
it. That is not of any great help for our attempt 
at explanation ; we are again forced to borrow 
largely from the teachings of dream-interpretation. 
This admonishes us not to fall into the error of 
deriving the fear that is felt in a dream from the 
content of a dream, not to use the dream-content 
like the content of ideas of waking life. It calls 
to our attention how often we dream the most 
horrible things without feeling any trace of fear. 
Rather the true fact is a quite different one, which 
cannot be easily guessed, but can certainly be 
proved. The fear of the anxiety-dream corre- 
sponds to a sex-feeling, a libidinous emotion, like 
every neurotic fear, and has, through the process 
of repression, proceeded from the libido.^ In the 
interpretation of dreams, therefore, one must sub- 

1 Cf. Samtnlung kl. Schriften zur Neurosenlehre, V., and Traum- 
deutung, p. 344. Traumdeutung translated by A. A. Brill, M.D., 
Ph.B., Interpretation of Dreams, George Allen and Unwin, Ltd., 
1913 (p. 441). 


stitute for fear sexual excitement. The fear which 
has thus come into existence, exercises now — ^not 
regularly, but often — a selective influence on the 
dream-content and brings into the dream ideational 
elements which seem suitable to this fear for the 
conscious and erroneous conception of the dream. 
This is, as has been said, by no means regularly 
the case, for there are anxiety dreams in which 
the content is not at all frightful, in which, there- 
fore, one cannot explain consciously the anxiety 

I know that this explanation of fear in dreams 
sounds odd, and is not easily believed ; but I can 
only advise making friends with it. It would, more- 
over, be remarkable if Norbert Hanold's dream 
allowed itself to be connected with this conception 
of fear and to be explained by it. We should then 
say that in the dreamer, at night, the erotic desire 
stirs, makes a powerful advance to bring his 
memory of the beloved into consciousness and thus 
snatch him from the delusion, experiences rejection 
and transformation into fear, which now, on its 
part, brings the fearful pictures from the academic 
memory of the dreamer into the dream-content. 
In this way the peculiar unconscious content of 
the dream, the amorous longing for the once 
known Zoe, is transformed into the manifest- 
content of the destruction of Pompeii and the 
loss of Gradiva. 

I think that sounds quite plausible so far. One 
might justly demand that if erotic wishes form the 
undisfigured content of this dream, then one must 
be able to point out, in the transformed dream, 
at least a recognizable remnant of them hidden 


somewhere. Well, perhaps even this will come 
about with the help of a suggestion which appears 
later in the story. At the first meeting with the 
supposed Gradiva, Hanold remembers this dream 
and requests the apparition to lie down again as 
he has seen her.^ Thereupon the young lady 
rises, indignant, and leaves her strange companion, 
in whose delusion-ridden speech she has heard the 
suggestion of an improper erotic wish. I think we 
may adopt Gradiva's interpretation ; even from 
a real dream one cannot always demand more 
definiteness for the representation of an erotic 

Thus the application of some rules of dream- 
interpretation have been successful on Hanold's 
first dream, in making this dream comprehensible 
to us in its chief features, and in fitting it into 
the sequence of the story. Then it must probably 
have been produced by its author with due con- 
sideration for these rules. One could raise only 
one more question : why the author should intro- 
duce a dream for further development of the 
delusion. Well, I think that is very cleverly 
arranged and again keeps faith with reality. We 
have already heard that in actual illness the 
formation of a delusion is very often connected 
with a dream, but after our explanation of the 
nature of dreams, we need find no new riddle in 
this fact. Dreams and delusion spring from the 
same source, the repressed ; the dream is, so to 

^ G. p. 57 : " No — not talked — but I called to you when you 
lay down to sleep and stood near you then — your face was as 
calmly beautiful as if it were of marble. May I beg you — rest 
it again on the step in that way." 


speak, the physiological delusion of the normal 
human being. Before the repressed has become 
strong enough to push itself up into waking life 
as delusion, it may easily have won its first success 
under the more favourable circumstances of sleep, 
in the form of a dream having after-effects. During 
sleep, with the diminution of psychic activity, 
there enters a slackening in the strength of the 
resistance, which the dominant psychic forces 
oppose to the repressed. This slackening is what 
makes the dream-formation possible and therefore 
the dream becomes, for us, the best means of 
approach to knowledge of the unconscious psyche. 
Only the dream usually passes rapidly with the 
re-establishment of the psychic revival of waking 
life, and the ground won by the unconscious is 
again vacated. 


IN the further course of the story there is an- 
other dream, which can tempt us, even more 
perhaps than the first, to try to interpret it and 
fit it into the psychic Hfe of the hero ; but we save 
httle if we leave the representation of the author 
of Gradiva here, to hasten directly to this second 
dream, for whoever wishes to interpret the dream 
of another, cannot help concerning himself, as 
extensively as possible, with every subjective and 
objective experience of the dreamer. Therefore 
it would be best to hold to the thread of the 
story and provide this with our commentaries 
as we progress. 

The new delusion of the death of Gradiva at 
the destruction of Pompeii in the year 79 is not 
the only after-effect of the first dream analysed 
by us. Directly afterwards Hanold decides upon 
a trip to Italy, which finally takes him to Pompeii. 
Before this, however, something else has happened 
to him ; leaning from his window, he thinks he 
sees on the street a figure with the bearing and 
walk of his Gradiva, hastens after her, in spite of 
his scanty attire, does not overtake her, but is 
driven back by the jeers of the people on the 
street. After he has returned to his room, the song 
of a canary whose cage hangs in the window of 

12 "' 


the opposite house calls forth in him a mood such 
as if he wished to get from prison into freedom, 
and the spring trip is immediately decided upon 
and accomplished. 

Our author has put this trip of Hanold's in an 
especially strong light, and has given to the latter 
partial clearness about his subjective processes. 
Hanold has, of course, given himself a scientific 
purpose for his journey, but this is not substantial. 
Yet he knows that the " impulse to travel has 
originated in a nameless feeling." A peculiar rest- 
lessness makes him dissatisfied with everything 
he encounters and drives him from Rome to Naples, 
from there to Pompeii, without his mood's being set 
right, even at the last halting-place. He is annoyed 
by the foolishness of honeymoon travellers, and is 
enraged over the boldness of house-flies, which 
populate the hotels of Pompeii ; but finally he 
does not deceive himself over the fact that " his 
dissatisfaction was certainly not caused by his 
surroundings alone, but, to a degree, found its 
origin in him." He considers himself over-excited, 
feels " that he was out of sorts because he lacked 
something without being able to explain what, and 
this ill-humour he took everywhere with him." 
In such a mood he is enraged even at his 
mistress, science ; as he wanders for the first 
time in the glow of the midday sun through 
Pompeii, all his science had left him without 
the least desire to rediscover it ; " he remem- 
bered it as from a great distance, and he felt 
that it had been an old, dried-up, boresome aunt, 
dullest and most superfluous creature in the 
world." {G. p. 48.) 


In this uncomfortable and confused state of 
mind, one of the riddles which are connected with 
this journey is solved for him at the moment when 
he first sees Gradiva w^alking through Pompeii ; 
" he became conscious, for the first time, that he 
had, without himself knowing the motive in his 
heart, come to Italy on that account and had, 
without stop, continued from Rome and Naples 
to Pompeii to see if he could here find trace of 
her — and that in a literal sense — for, with her 
unusual gait, she must have left behind in the 
ashes a foot-print different from all the others." 
(G. p. 50.) 

As our author has put so much care into the 
delineation of this trip, it must be worth our 
while to explain its relation to Hanold's delusion 
and its place in the sequence of events. The jour- 
ney is undertaken for motives which the character 
does not at first recognize and does not admit 
until later, motives which our author designates 
directly as "unconscious." This is certainly true 
to fife ; one does not need to have a delusion to 
act thus ; rather it is an everyday occurrence, 
even for normal people, that they are deceived 
about the motives of their actions and do not 
become conscious of them until subsequently, 
when a conflict of several emotional currents re- 
establishes for them the condition for such con- 
fusion. Hanold's trip, therefore, was intended, 
from the beginning, to serve the delusion, and 
was to take him to Pompeii to continue there the 
search for Gradiva. Let us remember that before, 
and directly after the dream, this search filled his 
mind and that the dream itself was only a stifled 


answer of his consciousness to the question of 
the whereabouts of Gradiva. Some force which 
we do not recognize, however, next prevents the 
plan of the delusion from becoming conscious, so 
that only insufficient pretexts, which can be but 
partially revived, remain as a conscious motivation 
for the trip. The author gives us another riddle 
by having the dream, the discovery of the sup- 
posed Gradiva on the street, and the decision to 
make the journey because of the influence of the 
singing canary follow one another like chance 
occurrences without inner coherence. 

With the help of the explanations which we 
gather from the later speeches of Zoe Bertgang, 
this obscure part of the tale is illuminated for our 
understanding. It was really the original of Gra- 
diva, Miss Zoe, herself, whom Hanold saw from 
his window walking on the street {G. p. 23), and 
whom he would soon have overtaken. The state- 
ment of the dreamer — " she is really living now 
in the present, in the same city with you," — 
would, therefore, by a lucky chance, have experi- 
enced an irrefutable corroboration, before which 
his inner resistance would have collapsed. The 
canary, however, whose song impelled Hanold to 
go away, belonged to Zoe, and his cage was in 
her window, in the house diagonally opposite 
from Hanold's {G. p. 98). Hanold, who, according 
to the girl's arraignment, was endowed with nega- 
tive hallucination, understood the art of not seeing 
nor recognizing people, and must from the begin- 
ning have had unconscious knowledge of what 
we do not discover until later. The signs of 
Zoe's proximity, her appearance on the street, 


and her bird's song so near his window intensify 
the effect of the dream, and in this condition, so 
dangerous for his resistance to the eroticism, he 
takes flight. The journey arises from the recovery 
of the resistance after that advance of erotic desire 
in the dream, an attempt at flight from the living 
and present beloved. It means practically a victory 
for repression, which, this time, in the delusion 
keeps the upper hand, as, in his former action, 
the " pedestrian investigations " of women and 
girls, the eroticism had been victorious. Every- 
where, however, the indecision of the struggle, the 
compromise nature of the results was evident ; 
the trip to Pompeii, which is to take him away 
from the living Zoe leads, at any rate, to her sub- 
stitute, Gradiva. The journey, which is under- 
taken in defiance of the most recent dream- 
thoughts, follows, however, the order of the mani- 
fest dream-content to Pompeii. Thus delusion 
triumphs anew every time that eroticism and 
resistance struggle anew. 

This conception of Hanold's trip, as a flight 
from the erotic desire for the beloved, who is so 
near, which is awakening in him, harmonizes, how- 
ever, with the frame of mind portrayed in him 
during his staj^ in Italy. The rejection of the 
eroticism, which dominates him, expresses itself 
there in his abhorrence of honeymoon travellers. 
A little dream in the " albergo " in Rome, caused 
by the proximity of a couple of German lovers, 
" Augustus " and " Gretchen," whose evening 
conversation he is forced to overhear through the 
thin partition, casts a further light on the erotic 
tendencies of his first great dream. The new dream 


transports him again to Pompeii where Vesuvius 
is just having another eruption, and thus refers 
to the dream which continues active during his 
trip ; but among the imperilled people he sees this 
time — not as before himself and Gradiva — ^but 
Apollo Belvedere and the Capitoline Venus, — 
doubtless ironic exaltation of the couple in the 
adjoining room. Apollo lifts Venus, carries her 
away, and lays her on an object in the dark, 
which seems to be a carriage or a cart, for a 
" rattling sound " comes from it. Otherwise the 
dream needs no special skill for its interpretation. 
(G. p. 32.) 

Our author, whom we have long relied on not 
to make a single stroke in his picture idly and 
without purpose, has given us another bit of testi- 
mony for the non-sexual force dominating Hanold 
on the trip. During hours of wandering in Pompeii, 
it happens that " remarkably, it did not once 
appear in his memory that he had dreamed some 
time ago that he had been present at the destruc- 
tion of Pompeii by the volcanic eruption of 79." 
(G. p. 42.) At sight of Gradiva he first suddenly 
remembers this dream, and at the same time the 
motive of the delusion for his puzzling journey 
becomes conscious. Then what other meaning 
could there be for forgetting the dream, this 
repression-boundary between the dream and the 
psychic condition of the journey, than that the 
journey is not the result of the direct instigation 
of the dream, but of the rejection of this latter, 
as the emanation from a psychic force which 
desires no knowledge of the secret meaning of 
the dream ? 


On the other hand, however, Hanold is not 
happy at this victory over his eroticism. The 
suppressed psychic impulse remains strong enough 
to revenge itself, by discontent and interception, 
on the suppressing agency. His longing has 
changed to restlessness and dissatisfaction, which 
make the trip seem senseless to him. His insight 
into the motivation of his trip is obstructed in 
service of the delusion ; his relation to science, 
which ought, in such a place, to stir all his interest, 
is upset. So our author shows his hero, after flight 
from love, in a sort of crisis, in an utterly confused 
and unsettled condition, in a derangement such 
as usually appears at the climax of illness if neither 
of the two struggling forces is so nmch stronger 
than the other, that the difference could establish 
a strict, psychic regime. Here then our author 
takes hold to help and to settle, for, at this place, 
he introduces Gradiva, who undertakes the cure of 
the delusion. With his power to direct to a happy 
solution the fortunes of all the characters created 
by him, in spite of all the requirements which 
he has them conform to, he transports the girl, 
from whom Hanold has fled to Pompeii, to 
that very place and thus corrects the folly which 
the delusion caused the young man to commit in 
leaving the home-city of his beloved for the 
dead abode of the one substituted for her by 
his fancy. 

With the appearance of Zoe Bertgang as Gra- 
diva, which marks the climax of the suspense of 
the story, our interest is soon diverted. If we 
have hitherto been living through the develop- 
ments of a delusion, we shall now become witnesses 


of its cure, and may ask ourselves if our author 
has merely invented the procedure of this cure or 
has carried it out according to actually existing 
possibilities. From Zoe's own words in the con- 
versation with her friend, we have decidedly the 
right to ascribe to her the intention to cure the 
hero {G. p. 97). But how does she go about it ? 
After she has cast aside the indignation which the 
unreasonable request, to lie down to sleep again, 
as " then," had evoked in her, she appears again 
next day, at the same place, and elicits from 
Hanold all the secret knowledge that was lacking 
to her for an understanding of his conduct of the 
previous day. She learns of his dream, of the bas- 
relief of Gradiva, and of the peculiarity of walk 
which she shares with the relief. She accepts 
the role of a spirit awakened to life for a short 
hour, which, she observes, his delusion assigns 
to her, and in ambiguous words, she gently 
puts him in the way of a new role by accept- 
ing from him the grave-flower which he had 
brought along without conscious purpose, and 
expresses regret that he has not given her roses 
(G. p. 70). 

Our interest in the conduct of the eminently 
clever girl, who has decided to win the lover of 
her youth as husband, after she has recognized 
his love behind his delusion as its impelling force, 
is, however, restrained at this place probably 
because of the strange feelings that the delusion 
can arouse even in us. Its latest development, 
that Gradiva, who was buried in the year 79, can 
now exchange conversation with him as a noon- 
spirit, for an hour, after the passing of which she 


sinks out of sight or seeks her grave again, this 
chimaera, which is not confused by the perception 
of her modern foot-covering, nor by her ignorance 
of the ancient tongues, nor by her command of 
German, which did not exist in former times, 
seems indeed to justify the author's designation, 
" A Pompeiian Fancy," but to exclude every 
standard of chnical reahty ; and yet on closer 
consideration the improbability in this delusion 
seems to me, for the most part, to vanish. To be 
sure, our author has taken upon himself a part 
of the blame, and in the first part of the story has 
offered the fact that Zoe was the image of the 
bas-relief in every trait. One must, therefore, 
guard against transferring the improbability of 
this preliminary to its logical conclusion that 
Hanold considers the girl to be Gradiva come to 
life. The explanation of the delusion is here en- 
hanced by the fact that our author has offered us 
no rational disposal of it. In the glowing sun of 
the Campagna and in the bewildering magic powers 
of the vine which grows on Vesuvius, our author 
has introduced helpful and mitigating circum- 
stances of the transgression of the hero. The most 
important of all explanatory and exonerating 
considerations remains, however, the facility with 
which our intellect decides to accept an absurd 
content if impulses with a strong emotional stress 
find thereby their satisfaction. It is astonishing, 
and generally meets with too little acceptance, 
how easily and often intelligent people, under such 
psychological constellations, give the reactions of 
partial mental weakness, and any one who is not 
too conceited may observe this in himself as often 


as he wishes, and especially when a part of the 
thought-processes under consideration is connected 
with unconscious or repressed motives. I cite, in 
this connection, the words of a philosopher who 
writes to me, " T have also begun to make note 
of cases of striking mistakes, from my own experi- 
ence, and of thoughtless actions which one subse- 
quently explains to himself (in a very unreasonable 
way). It is amazing but typical how much stupidity 
thereby comes to light." Now let us consider the 
fact that belief in spirits, apparitions and return- 
ing souls (which finds so much support in the 
religions to which, at least as children, we have all 
clung) is by no means destroyed among all edu- 
cated people, and that many otherwise reasonable 
people find their interest in spiritism compatible 
with their reason. Yes, even one become dispas- 
sionate and incredulous may perceive with shame 
how easily he turns back for a moment to a belief 
in spirits, when emotions and perplexity concur 
in him. I know of a physician who had once lost 
a patient by Basedow's disease and could not rid 
himself of the slight suspicion that he had perhaps 
contributed by unwise medication to the unfor- 
tunate outcome. One day several years later there 
stepped into his office a girl, in whom, in spite of 
all reluctance, he was obliged to recognize the 
dead woman. His only thought was that it was 
true that the dead could return, and his fear did 
not give way to shame until the visitor introduced 
herself as the sister of the woman who had died 
of that disease. Basedow's disease lends to those 
afflicted with it a great similarity of features, 
which has often been noticed, and in this case 


the typical resemblance was far more exaggerated 
than the family resemblance. The physician, more- 
over, to whom this happened was I, and therefore 
I am not inclined to quarrel with Norbert 
Hanold over the clinical possibility of his short 
delusion about Gradiva, who had returned to life. 
That in serious cases of chronic delusion (paranoia) 
the most extreme absurdities, ingeniously devised 
and well supported, are active is, finally, well 
known to every psychiatrist. 

After his first meeting with Gradiva, Norbert 
Hanold had drunk his wine in first one and then 
another of the hotels of Pompeii known to him, 
while the other guests were having their regular 
meals. " Of course, in no way had the absurd 
supposition entered his mind " that he was doing 
this to find out what hotel Gradiva lived and ate 
in, but it is hard to say what other significance 
his action could have. On the day after his second 
meeting in Meleager's house, he has all sorts of 
remarkable and apparently disconnected experi- 
ences ; he finds a narrow cleft in the wall of 
the portico where Gradiva had disappeared, meets 
a foohsh lizard-catcher, who addresses him as 
an acquaintance, discovers a secluded hotel, the 
*' Albergo del Sole," whose owner talks him into 
buying a metal brooch encrusted with green patina, 
which had been found with the remains of a Pom- 
peiian girl, and finally notices in his own hotel a 
newly-arrived young couple, whom he diagnoses 
to be brother and sister, and congenial. All these 
impressions are then woven into a " remarkably 
nonsensical " dream as follows : 

" Somewhere in the sun Gradiva sat making a 


trap out of a blade of grass in order to catch 
a lizard, and she said, ' Please stay quite still — my 
colleague is right ; the method is really good and 
she has used it with the greatest success.' " 

To this dream he offers resistance even while 
sleeping, with the critique that it is indeed the 
most utter madness, and he casts about to free 
himself from it. He succeeds in doing this, too, 
with the aid of an invisible bird who utters a 
short, merry call, and carries the lizard away in 
his beak. 

Shall we risk an attempt to interpret this 
dream also, that is, to substitute for it the latent 
thoughts from whose disfigurement it must have 
proceeded ? It is as nonsensical as one could ex- 
pect a dream to be and this absurdity of dreams 
is the mainstay of the view which denies to the 
dream the character of a valid psychic act, and 
has it proceed from a desultory stimulus of the 
psychic elements. 

We can apply to this dream the technique 
which can be designated as the regular procedure 
of dream-interpretation. It consists in disregard- 
ing the apparent sequence in the manifest dream 
but in examining separately every part of the 
content, and in seeking its derivation in the im- 
pressions, memories and free ideas of the dreamer. 
As we cannot examine Hanold, however, we must 
be satisfied with reference to his impressions, and 
may with due caution substitute our own ideas 
for his. 

" Somewhere in the sun Gradiva sat catching 
lizards, and said ..." What impression of the 
day is this part of the dream reminiscent of ? 


Unquestionably of the meeting with the older 
man, the lizard-catcher, for whom Gradiva is 
substituted in the dream. He was sitting or lying 
on a " hot, sunny " slope and spoke to Hanold, too. 
Even the utterances of Gradiva in the dream are 
copied from those of the man. Let us compare : 
" ' The method suggested by my colleague, Eimer, 
is really good ; I have already used it often with 
the best of success. Please remain quite still.' " — 
Quite similarly Gradiva speaks in the dream, only 
that for the colleague, Eimer, is substituted an 
unnamed woman-colleague ; the often from the 
zoologist's speech is missing in the dream, and the 
connection between the statements has been some- 
what changed. It seems, therefore, that this experi- 
ence of the day has been transformed into a dream 
by some changes and disfigurements. Why thus, 
and what is the meaning of the disfigurements, 
the substitution of Gradiva for the old gentleman, 
and the introduction of the puzzling " woman-col- 
league " ? 

There is a rule of dream-interpretation as fol- 
lows : A speech heard in a dream always originates 
from a speech either heard or uttered in waking 
life. Well, this rule seems followed here ; the 
speech of Gradiva is only a modification of a speech 
heard in the daytime from the zoologist. Another 
rule of dream-interpretation would tell us that the 
substitution of one person for another, or the 
mixture of two people by showing one in a position 
which characterizes the other means equivalence 
of the two people, a correspondence between them. 
Let us venture to apply this rule also to our dream ; 
then the interpretation would follow : " Gradiva 


catches lizards, as that old gentleman does, and 
like him, is skilled in Hzard-catching." This result 
is not comprehensible yet, but we have another 
riddle before us. To which impression of the day 
shall we refer the " woman colleague," who is 
substituted in the dream for the famous zoologist, 
Eimer ? We have here fortunately not much 
choice ; only one other girl can be meant by 
*' woman-colleague," the congenial young lady in 
whom Hanold has conjectured a sister travelHng 
with her brother. " In her gown she wore a red 
Sorrento rose, the sight of which, as he looked 
across from his corner, stirred something in his 
memory without his being able to think what it 
was." This observation on the part of the author 
surely gives us the right to assert that she is the 
" woman-colleague " of the dream. What Hanold 
cannot remember is certainly nothing but the 
remark of the supposed Gradiva, as she asked 
him for the grave-flower, that to more fortunate 
girls one brought roses in spring. In this 
speech, however, lay a hidden wooing. What 
kind of lizard-catching is it that this more 
fortunate woman-colleague has been so successful 

with ? 

On the next day Hanold surprises the supposed 
brother and sister in tender embrace and can thus 
correct his mistake of the previous day. They are 
really a couple of lovers, on their honeymoon, as 
we later learn, when the two disturb, so unex- 
pectedly, Hanold's third meeting with Zoe. If we 
will now accept the idea that Hanold, who con- 
sciously considers them brother and sister, has, 
in his unconscious, recognized at once their 


real relation, which on the next day betrays itself 
so unequivocally, there results a good meaning for 
Gradiva's remark in the dream. The red rose 
then becomes a sj^mbol for being in love ; Hanold 
understands that the two are as Gradiva and lie 
are soon to be ; the lizard-catching acquires the 
meaning of husband- catching, and Gradiva's 
speech means something like this : " Let me 
arrange things ; I know how to win a husband 
as well as this other girl does." 

Why must this penetration of Zoe's intentions 
appear throughout in the form of the speech of 
the old zoologist ? Why is Zoe's skill in husband- 
catching represented by that of the old man in 
lizard-catching ? Well, it is easy for us to answer 
that question ; we have long ago guessed that the 
lizard-catcher is none other than the professor of 
zoology, Bertgang, Zoe's father, who must, of 
course, also know Hanold, so that it is a matter 
of course that he addresses Hanold as an acquain- 
tance. Again, let us accept the idea that Hanold, 
in his unconscious, immediately recognizes the 
professor — " It seemed to him dimly that he had 
already seen the face of the lizard-hunter probably 
in one of the two hotels." Thus is explained the 
strange cloaking of the purpose attributed to Zoe. 
She is the daughter of the lizard-catcher ; she has 
inherited this skill from him. The substitution of 
Gradiva for the lizard-catcher in the dream-content 
is, therefore, the representation of the relation 
between the two people, which was recognized by 
the unconscious ; the introduction of " woman- 
colleague " in place of colleague, Eimer, allows the 
dream to express comprehension of her courtship 


of the man. The dream has welded two of the 
day's experiences in one situation, " condensed " 
as we say, in order to procure, to be sure, very 
indiscernible expression for two ideas which are 
not allowed to become conscious ; but we can go 
on diminishing the strangeness of the dream still 
more and pointing out the influence of other experi- 
ences of the day on the formation of the manifest 

Dissatisfied by the former information, we might 
explain why the scene of the lizard-catching was 
made the nucleus of the dream, and suppose that 
the other elements in the dream-thoughts influence 
the term " hzard " in the manifest dream. It 
might really be very easy. Let us recall that 
Hanold has discovered a cleft in the wall, in the 
place where Gradiva seems to him to disappear ; 
this is " wide enough to afford passage to an un- 
usually slender figure." By this perception he is 
forced in the day-time to an alteration in his 
delusion ; Gradiva did not sink into the ground 
when she disappeared from his sight, but was 
going back, by this route, to her grave. In his 
imconscious thought he might say to himself that 
he had now found the natural explanation for the 
surprising disappearance of the girl ; but must 
not forcing one's self through narrow clefts, and 
disappearing in such clefts recall the conduct of 
lizards ? Does not Gradiva herself, then, in this 
connection, behave hke an agile httle lizard ? We 
think, therefore, that the discovery of this cleft in 
the wall had worked as a determinant on the 
choice of the " lizard " element for the manifest 
dream - content ; the lizard - situation of the 


dream, therefore, represented this impression of 
the day, and the meeting with the zoologist, 
Zoe's father. 

What if, become bold, we now wished to attempt 
to find in the dream-content a representation also 
for the one experience of the day which has not 
yet been turned to account, the discovery of the 
third hotel, " del Sole " ? Our author has treated 
this episode so exhaustively and linked so much 
with it, we should be surprised if it, alone, had 
yielded no contribution to the dream-formation. 
Hanold enters this hotel, which, because of its 
secluded situation and its distance from the station, 
has remained unknown to him, to get a bottle of 
lime-water for congestion of blood. The hotel- 
keeper uses this opportunity to extol his antiques 
and shows him a brooch which, it was alleged, 
had belonged to that Pompeiian girl who was 
found near the Forum in fond embrace with her 
lover. Hanold, who had never before believed this 
frequently repeated story, is now compelled, by 
a force strange to him, to believe in the truth of 
this touching story and in the genuineness of the 
article found, buys the brooch and leaves the hotel 
with his purchase. In passing, he sees nodding 
down at him from one of the windows a cluster 
of white, asphodel blossoms which had been placed 
in a water-glass, and he feels that this sight is 
an attestation of the genuineness of his new pos- 
session. The sincere conviction is now impressed 
upon him that the green brooch belonged to 
Gradiva, and that she was the girl who died in 
her lover's embrace. The tormenting jealousy, 
which thereupon seizes him, he appeases with the 



resolution to assure himself about this suspicion, 
the next day, from Gradiva, herself, by showing 
the brooch. This is a strange bit of new delusion ; 
and shouldn't any trace point to it in the dream 
of the following night ? 

It will be well worth our while to get an under- 
standing of the origin of this augmentation of the 
delusion, to look up the new unconscious idea for 
which the new bit of delusion is substituted. The 
delusion originates under the influence of the 
proprietor of the " Sun Hotel," toward whom 
Hanold conducts himself in so remarkably credu- 
lous a manner, as if he has received a suggestion 
from him. The proprietor shows him a small 
metal brooch as genuine, and as the possession of 
that girl who was found in the arms of her lover, 
buried in the ashes, and Hanold, who could be 
critical enough to doubt the truth of the story as 
well as the genuineness of the brooch, is caught, 
credulous, and buys the more than doubtful antique. 
It is quite incomprehensible why he should act so, 
and no hint is given that the personality of the 
proprietor himself might solve this riddle for us. 
There is, however, another riddle in this incident, and 
two riddles sometimes solve each other. On leaving 
the " albergo," he catches sight of an asphodel 
cluster in a glass at a window, and finds in it an 
attestation of the genuineness of the metal brooch. 
How can that be ? This last stroke is fortunately 
easy of solution. The white flower is, of course, the 
one w^hich he presented to Gradiva at noon, and 
it is quite right that through the sight of it at one 
of the windows of this hotel, something is corro- 
borated, not the genuineness of the brooch, but 


something else which has become clear to him at 
the discovery of this formerly overlooked " albergo." 
In the forenoon he has already acted as if he were 
seeking, in the two hotels of Pompeii, where the 
person lived Avho appeared to him as Gradiva. 
Now, as he stumbles so unexpectedly upon a third, 
he must say in the unconscious : "So she lives 
here " ; and then, on leaving : " Right there is 
the asphodel flower I gave her ; that is, therefore, 
her window." This, then, is the new idea for 
which the delusion is substituted, and which 
cannot become conscious because its assumption 
that Gradiva is living, a person known by him, 
cannot become conscious. 

How then is the substitution of the delusion for 
the new idea supposed to have occurred ? I think 
thus : that the feeling of conviction which clung 
to the idea was able to assert itself and persisted, 
while another ideational content related to it by 
thought-connection acted as substitute for the 
idea itself which was incapable of consciousness. 
Thus the feeling of conviction was connected with 
a really strange content, and this latter attained, 
as delusion, a recognition which did not belong 
to it. Hanold transfers his conviction that Gradiva 
lives in this house to other impressions which he 
receives in this house, becomes, in a way, credulous 
about what the proprietor says, the genuineness 
of the metal brooch, and the truth of the anecdote 
about the lovers found in an embrace, but only 
by this route, that he connects what he has heard 
in this house with Gradiva. The jealousy which 
has been lying ready in him gets possession of this 
material, and even in contradiction to his first 


dream there appears the delusion that Gradiva 
was the girl who died in the arms of her lover, 
and that the brooch which he bought belonged 
to her. 

We notice that the conversation with Gradiva, 
and her gentle wooing " through the flower," have 
already evoked important changes in Hanold. 
Traits of male desire, components of the libido are 
awakened in him, which, to be sure, cannot yet 
dispense with the concealment through conscious 
pretexts ; but the problem of the corporeal nature 
of Gradiva, which has pursued him this whole day, 
cannot disavow its derivation from the erotic 
desire of the young man for possession of the 
woman, even if it is dragged into the scientific 
world by conscious stress on Gradiva's peculiar 
hovering between life and death. Jealousy is an 
added mark of Hanold's awakening activity in 
Ivoe ; he expresses this at the opening of the con- 
versation on the next day, and with the aid of 
a new pretext achieves his object of touching 
the girl's body, and of striking her, as in times 
long past. 

\ Now, however, it is time to ask if the course 
of delusion-formation which we have inferred 
from our author's representation is one otherwise 
admitted or possible. From my experience as 
physician, I can answer only that it is surely the 
right way, perhaps the only one, in which the 
delusion receives the unswerving recognition due 
to its clinical character. If the patient believes in 
his delusion so firmly, it does not happen because 
of inversion of his powers of judgment, and does 
not proceed from what is erroneous in the delu- 


sion ; but in every delusion there lies also a little 
grain of truth ; there is something in it which 
really deserves belief, and this is the source of the 
conviction of the patient, who is, to this extent, 
justified. This true element, however, has been 
repressed for a long time ; if it finally succeeds in 
pushing into consciousness (this time in disfigured 
form), the feeling of a conviction clinging to it, 
as if in compensation, is over-strong and now 
clings to and protects the disfigurement-substitute 
of the repressed, true element against every critical 
impugnment. The conviction at once shifts itself 
from the unconscious, true element to the conscious, 
erroneous one connected with it, and remains 
fixed there as a result of this very displacement. 
The case of delusion-formation which resulted from 
Hanold's first dream is nothing but a similar, if 
not identical, case of such displacement. Yes, the 
depicted manner of development of conviction in 
the delusion is not fundamentally different from 
the w^ay in which conviction is formed in normal 
cases, w^here repression does not enter into play. 
All our convictions lie in thought-contents in 
which the true and the false are combined and 
they stretch over the former and the latter. They 
differentiate at once between the true and what- 
ever false is associated with it and protect this, 
even if not so immutably as in the delusion, 
against merited critique. Associations, protection, 
likewise, have their own value even for normal 

I will now return to the dream and lay stress on 
a small, but not uninteresting feature which estab- 
lishes a connection between two occasions of the 


dream. Gradiva had placed the white asphodel 
flower in definite contrast to the red rose ; the 
finding of the asphodel flower again in the window 
of the " Albergo del Sole " becomes a weighty 
proof for Hanold's unconscious idea which ex- 
presses itself in a new delusion ; and to this is 
added the fact that the red rose in the dress of the 
congenial young girl helps Hanold again, in the 
unconscious, to a right estimation of her relation 
to her companion so that he can have her enter 
the dream as " woman colleague." 

But where in the manifest dream-content is 
found the trace and representation of that dis- 
covery of Hanold's for which we find that the 
new delusion is substituted, the discovery that 
Gradiva lives with her father in the third hotel 
of Pompeii, the '* Albergo del Sole," which he has 
not been acquainted with ? Well, it stands in its 
entirety and not even much disfigured in the 
dream ; but I dread to point it out, for I know 
that even with the readers whose patience with 
me has lasted so long, a strong opposition to my 
attempts at interpretation will be stirred up. 
Hanold's discovery is given in full in the dream- 
content, I repeat, but so cleverly concealed that 
one must needs overlook it. It is hidden there 
behind a play on words, an ambiguity. " Some- 
where in the sun Gradiva sat " ; this we have 
rightly connected with the locality where Hanold 
met the zoologist, her father ; but can it not also 
mean in the " Sun," that is, in the " Albergo del 
Sole," in the " Sun Hotel " Gradiva fives ? And 
doesn't the " somewhere " which has no reference 
to the meeting with her father sound so hypo- 


critically indefinite for the very reason that it 
introduces the definite information about the 
whereabouts of Gradiva ? According to previous 
experience in the interpretation of real dreams, 
I am quite sure of such a meaning in the ambiguity, 
but I should really not venture to offer this bit 
of interpretation to my readers, if our author did 
not lend me here his powerful assistance. On the 
next day he puts into the mouth of the girl, when 
she sees the metal brooch, the same pun which 
we accept for the interpretation of the dream- 
content. " Did you find it in the sun, perhaps ? 
It brings to light many such works of art " ; 
and as Hanold does not understand the speech, 
she explains that she means the " Sun Hotel," 
which is called " Sole " here, whence the supposed 

antique is also familiar to her. 

And now may we make the attempt to substi- 
tute for Hanold's " remarkably nonsensical " 
dream unconscious thoughts hidden behind it and 
as unlike it as possible ? It runs somewhat as 
follows : " She lives in the ' Sun ' with her father ; 
why is she playing such a game with me ? Does 
she wish to make fun of me ? Or could it be 
possible that she loves me and wishes me for a 
husband ? " To this latter possibility there now 
follows in sleep the rejection, " That is the most 
utter madness," which is apparently directed 
against the whole manifest dream. 

Critical readers have now the right to inquire 
about the origin of that interpolation, not for- 
merly established, which refers to being made fun 
of by Gradiva. To this Traumdeutung gives 
the answer ; if in dream-thoughts, taunts and 


sneers, or bitter contradictions occur, they are 
expressed by the nonsensical course of the mani- 
fest dream, through the absurdity in the dream. 
The latter means, therefore, no paralysis of psychic 
activity, but is one of the means of representation 
which the dream-work makes use of. As always 
in especially difficult passages, our author here 
comes to our assistance. The nonsensical dream 
has another postlude in which a bird utters a 
merry call and takes away the lizard in his beak. 
Such a laughing call Hanold had heard after 
Gradiva's disappearance. It really came from Zoe 
who was shaking off the melancholy seriousness 
of her lower world role ; with this laugh Gradiva 
had really derided him. The dream-picture, 
however, of the bird carrying away the lizai'd 
may recall that other one in a former dream in 
which Apollo Belvedere carried away the Capitoline 

Perhaps the impression now exists with many 
readers that the interpretation of the lizard - 
catching situation by the idea of wooing is not 
sufficiently justified. Additional support is found 
here, perhaps in the hint that Zoe, in conversation 
with her colleague, admits about herself that very 
thing which Hanold's thoughts suppose about 
her, when she tells that she had been sure of 
*' digging up " something interesting for herself 
here in Pompeii. She thereby delves into the 
archaeological series of associations as he did 
into the zoological with his allegory of lizard- 
catching, as if they were opposing each other 
and each wished to assume properties of the 


Thus we have finished the interpretation of the 
second dream. Both have become accessible to 
our understanding under the presupposition that 
the dreamer, in his unconscious thought, knows 
all that he has forgotten in his conscious, has in 
the former rightly judged everything which, in 
the latter, he delusivety misconstrues. In this 
connection we have, of course, been obliged to 
make many assertions which sounded odd to the 
reader because they were strange to him and pro- 
bably often awakened the suspicion that we were 
giving out as our author's meaning what is only 
our own meaning. We are ready to do every- 
thing to dissipate this suspicion and will there- 
fore gladly consider more exhaustively one of the 
most knotty points — I mean the use of ambiguous 
words and speeches as in the example, " Some- 
where in the Sun Gradiva sat." 

It must be striking to every reader of Gradiva 
how often our author puts into the mouths of 
both the leading characters speeches which have 
double meaning. For Hanold these speeches are 
intended to have only one meaning, and only his 
companion, Gradiva, is affected by their other 
meaning. Thus, after her first answer, he ex- 
claims : "I knew that your voice sounded so," 
and the yet unenlightened Zoe has to ask how 
that is possible, as he has never before heard her 
speak. In the second conversation, the girl is 
for a moment puzzled by his delusion, as he assures 
her that he recognized her at once. She must 
ipiderstand these words in the meaning that is 
correct for his unconscious, as his recognition of 
their acquaintance which reaches back into child- 


hood, while he, of course, knows nothing of this 
meaning of his speech and explains it only by- 
reference to the delusion which dominates him. 
The speeches of the girl, on the other hand, in 
whose person the most brilliant mental clarity is 
opposed to the delusion, are made intentionally 
ambiguous. One meaning of them falls in with 
the ideas of Hanold's delusion, in order to 
enable her to penetrate into his conscious com- 
prehension, the other raises itself above the 
delusion, and, as a rule, gives us the interpre- 
tation of it in the unconscious truth which has 
been represented by it. It is a triumph of wit 
to be able to represent the delusion and the 
truth in the same expression. 

Interspersed with such ambiguities is Zoe's 
speech in which she explains the situation to her 
girl friend and at the same time rids herself of 
her disturbing society ; it is really spoken out 
of the book, calculated more for us readers than 
for her happy colleague. In the conversations 
with Hanold, the double meaning is chiefly estab- 
lished by the fact that Zoe makes use of the sym- 
bolism which we find followed in Hanold's first 
dream, in the equivalence of repression and des- 
truction, Pompeii and childhood. Thus on the 
one hand she can, in her speeches, continue in 
the role which Hanold's delusion assigns to her, 
on the other, she can touch upon the real relations, 
and awaken in Hanold's unconscious a knowledge 
of them. 

" I have long accustomed myself to being 
dead." (G. p. 70.) "For me, the flower of 
oblivion is the right one from your hand " (G. 


p. 70). In these speeches is given lightly the 
reproof which then breaks out clearly enough in 
her last sermon when she compares him to an 
archaeopteryx. " That a person must die to 
become alive again ; but for archaeologists that is, 
of course, necessary " {G. p. 102), she continues 
after the solution of the delusion as if to give us 
the key to her ambiguous speeches. The most 
beautiful symbolism appears, however, in the 
question (G. p. 88) : " It seems to me as 
if we had already eaten our bread thus together 
once two thousand years ago. Can't you re- 
member it ? " In this speech the substitution 
of historic antiquity for childhood, and the effort 
to awaken his memory of the latter are quite 

Wlience, therefore, comes this striking prefer- 
ence for ambiguous speeches in Gradiva ? It seems 
to us not chance, but the necessary sequence from 
the preliminaries of the tale. It is nothing but 
the counterpart of the twofold determination of 
symptoms in so far as the speeches are themselves 
symptoms and proceed from compromises between 
the conscious and the unconscious ; but one 
notices this double origin in the speeches more 
easily than in the acts ; and when, as the pliability 
of the material of conversation often makes pos- 
sible, each of the two intentions of a speech succeeds 
by the same arrangement of words in expressing 
itself well, then there is present what we call an 
" ambiguity." 

During the psychotherapeutic treatment of a 
delusion, or an analogous disturbance, one often 
evolves such ambiguous speeches in patients as 


new symptoms of the most fleeting duration, and 
can even succeed in making use of them, whereby, 
with the meaning intended for the consciousness 
of the patient, one can, not infrequently, stimulate 
the understanding for the one vahd in the un- 
conscious. I know from experience that among 
the uninitiate this role of ambiguity usually gives 
the greatest offence, and causes the grossest mis- 
understanding, but our author was right, at any 
rate, in representing in his production this char- 
acteristic feature of the processes of the formation 
of dream and delusion. 



WITH Zoe's entrance as physician there is 
awakened in us, we said, a new interest. 
We are eager to learn if such a cure as she accom- 
phshes on Hanold is comprehensible or possible, 
whether our author has observed the conditions 
of the passing of a delusion as correctly as those 
of its development. 

Without doubt a view will be advanced denying 
to the case portrayed by our author such a prin- 
cipal interest, and recognizing no problem requiring 
an explanation. For Hanold nothing more re- 
mains, it might be asserted, but to solve his delu- 
sion again, after its object, the supposed Gradiva, 
conveys to him the incorrectness of all his asser- 
tions and gives him the most natural explanations 
for everything puzzling ; for example, how she 
knows his name. Thereby the affair would be 
settled logically ; as, however, the girl in this case 
has confessed her love, for the satisfaction of his 
feminine readers, our author would surely allow 
the otherwise not uninteresting story to end in the 
usually happy way, marriage. More consistent, 
and just as possible, would have been the different 
conclusion that the young scholar, after the ex- 
planation of his mistake, should, with polite thanks, 
take his leave of the young lady and in that way 

I 205 


motivate the rejection of her love so that he might 
offer an intense interest to ancient women of 
bronze or stone, or the originals of these, if they 
were attainable, but might have no idea of how to 
deal with a girl of flesh and blood of his own time. 
The archaeological fancy was most arbitrarily cem- 
ented into a love-story by our author, himself. 

In discountenancing this conception as impos- 
sible, our attention is first called to the fact that 
we have to attribute the change beginning in 
Norbert Hanold not to the relinquishment of the 
delusion alone. At the same time, indeed before 
the solution of the latter, there is in him an un- 
deniable awakening of the desire for love, which, 
of course, results in his asking for the hand of the 
girl who has freed him from delusion. We have 
already shown under what pretexts and cloakings, 
curiosity about her corporeal nature, jealousy, 
and the brutal male impulse for possession are 
expressed in him in the midst of the delusion, since 
repressed desire put the first dream into his mind. 
Let us add the further testimony that in the 
evening after the second talk with Gradiva a living 
woman for the first time seems congenial to him, 
although he still makes the concession to his 
abhorrence of honeymoon travellers, by not recog- 
nizing the congenial girl as newly married. The 
next forenoon, however, chance makes him witness 
of an exchange of caresses between the girl and 
her supposed brother, and he draws back shyly 
as if he had disturbed a holy ceremony. Disdain 
for " Augustus " and " Gretchen " is forgotten and 
respect for love is restored to him. 

Thus our author has connected the treatment 


of the delusion and the breaking fortli of the desire 
for love most closely with one another, and pre- 
pared the outcome in a love-affair as necessary. 
He knows the nature of the delusion even better 
than his critics ; he knows that a component of 
amorous desire has combined with a component 
of resistance in the formation of the delusion, and 
he has the girl who undertakes the cure discover in 
Hanold's delusion the component referring to her. 
Only this insight can make her decide to devote 
herself to treating him, only the certainty of 
knowing herself loved by him can move her to 
confess to him her love. The treatment consists 
in restoring to him, from without, the repressed 
memories which he cannot release from within ; it 
would be ineffective if the therapeutist did not 
consider the emotions ; and the interpretation of 
the delusion would not finally be : " See ; all that 
means only that you love me." 

The procedure which our author has his Zoe 
follow for the cure of the delusion of the friend 
of her youth, shows a considerable resemblance, 
no, complete agreement, essentially, with a thera- 
peutic method which Dr. J. Breuer and the present 
writer introduced into medicine in 1895, and to the 
perfection of which the latter has since devoted 
himself. This method of treatment, first called 
the " cathartic " by Breuer, which the present 
writer has preferred to designate as " analytic," 
consists in rather forcibly bringing into the con- 
sciousness of the patients who suffer from dis- 
turbances analogous to Hanold's delusion, the 
unconscious, through the repression of which they 
have become ill, just as Gradiva does with the 


repressed memories of their childhood relations. 
To be sure, accomplishment of this task is easier 
for Gradiva than for the physician ; she is, in this 
connection, in a position which might be called 
ideal from many view-points. The physician who 
does not fathom his patient in advance, and does 
not possess within himself, as conscious memory, 
what is working in the patient as unconscious, 
must call to his aid a complicated technique in 
order to overcome this disadvantage. He must 
learn to gather with absolute certainty, from the 
patient's conscious ideas and statements, the re- 
pressed material in him, to guess the unconscious, 
when it betrays itself behind the patient's con- 
scious expressions and acts. The latter then does 
something similar to what Norbert Hanold did 
at the end of the story, when he re-translates the 
name, Gradiva, into Bertgang. The disturbance 
disappears then by being traced back to its origin ; 
analysis brings cure at the same time. 

The similarity between the procedure of Gradiva 
and the analytic method of psychotherapy is, 
however, not limited to these two points, making 
the repressed conscious, and the concurrence of 
explanation and cure. It extends itself to what 
proves the essential of the whole change, the 
awakening of the emotions. Every disturbance 
analogous to Hanold 's delusion, which in science 
we usually designate as a psychoneurosis, has, as 
a preliminary, the repression of part of the emo- 
tional life, to speak boldly, of the sex-impulse, and 
at every attempt to introduce the unconscious and 
repressed cause of illness into consciousness, the 
emotional component necessarily awakens to re- 


newed struggle with the forces repressing it, to 
adjust itself for final result, often under violent 
manifestations of reaction. In reawakening, in 
consciousness, of repressed love, the process of 
recuperation is accomplished when we sum up 
all the various components of sex-impulse as 
" love," and this reawakening is irremissible, for 
the symptoms on account of which the treatment 
was undertaken are nothing but the precipita- 
tions of former struggles of repression and recur- 
rence and can be solved and washed away only 
by a new high-tide of these very passions. Every 
psychoanalytic treatment is an attempt to free 
repressed love, which has formed a miserable 
compromise-outlet in a symptom. Yes, the con- 
formity with the therapeutic process pictured by 
the author in Gradiva reaches its height when we 
add that even in analytical psychotherapy the 
reawakened passion, whether love or hate, chooses 
the person of the physician as its object every time. 
Then, of course, appear the differences which 
make the case of Gradiva an ideal one such as the 
technique of physicians cannot attain. Gradiva 
can respond to the love which is pushing through 
from the unconscious into the conscious ; the 
physician cannot ; Gradiva was herself the object 
of the former repressed love ; her person offers at 
once a desirable object to the freed erotic activity. 
The physician has been a stranger, and after the 
cure must try to become a stranger again ; often 
he does not know how to advise the cured patient 
to apply in life her regained capacity for love. 
To suggest what resources and makeshifts the 
physician then employs to approach with more or 



less success the model of a love-cure which our 
author has drawn for us, would carry us too far 
away from our present task. 

Now, however, the last question which we have 
already evaded answering several times. Our 
views about repression, the formation of delusion 
and related disturbances, the formation and inter- 
pretation of dreams, the role of erotic life, and the 
manner of cure for such disturbances are, of 
course, not by any means the common property 
of science, to say nothing of being the possession of 
educated people. If the insight which makes our 
author able to create his " Fancy " in such a way 
that we can analyse it like a real history of disease 
has for its foundation the above-mentioned know- 
ledge, we should like to fmd out the source of it. 
One of the circle who, as was explained at the 
beginning, was interested in the dreams of Gradiva 
and their possible interpretation, put the direct 
question to Wilhelm Jensen, whether any such 
similar theories of science had been known to 
him. Our author answered, as was to be expected, 
in the negative, and rather testily. His imagina- 
tion had put into his mind the Ch'adiva in whom 
he had his joy ; any one whom she did not please 
might leave her alone. He did not suspect how 
much she had pleased the readers. 

It is easily possible that our author's rejection 
does not stop at that. Perhaps he denies know- 
ledge of the rules which we have shown that he 
follows, and disavows all the intentions which we 
recognized in his production ; I do not consider 
this improbable ; then, however, only two possi- 
bilities remain. Either we have presented a true 


caricature of interpretation, by transferrinpf to a 
harmless work of art tendencies of which its creator 
had no idea, and have thereby shown again how 
easy it is to find what one seeks and what one 
is engrossed with, a possibihty of which most 
strange examples are recorded in the history of 
Hterature. Every reader may now decide for 
himself whether he cares to accept such an ex- 
planation ; we, of course, hold fast to the other, 
still remaining view. We think that our author 
needed to know nothing of such rules and inten- 
tions, so that he may disavow them in good faith, 
and that we have surely found nothing in his 
romance which was not contained in it. We are 
probably drawing from the same source, working 
over the same material, each of us with a different 
method, and agreement in results seems to vouch 
for the fact that both have worked correctly. 
Our procedure consists of the conscious obser- 
vation of abnormal psychic processes in others, in 
order to be able to discover and express their laws. 
Our author proceeds in another way ; he directs 
his attention to the unconscious in his own psyche, 
listens to its possibilities of development and 
grants them artistic expression, instead of sup- 
pressing them with conscious critique. Thus he 
learns from himself what we learn from others, 
what laws the activity of this unconscious must 
follow, but he does not need to express these laws, 
need not even recognize them clearly ; they are, as 
a result of his intelligent patience, contained in- 
carnate in his creatures. We unfold these laws by 
analysis of his fiction as we discover them from 
cases of real illness, but the conclusion seems irre- 


futable, that either both (our author, as well as 
the physician) have misunderstood the unconscious 
in the same way or we have both understood it 
correctly. This conclusion is very valuable for 
us ; for its sake, it was worth while for us to inves- 
tigate the representation of the formation and cure 
of delusion, as well as the dreams, in Jensen's 
Gradiva by the methods of therapeutic psycho- 

We have reached the end. An observant reader 
might remind us that, at the beginning, we had 
remarked that dreams are wishes represented as 
fulfilled and that we still owe the proof of it. Well, 
we reply, our arguments might well show how 
unjustifiable it would be to wish to cover the 
explanations which we have to give of the dream 
with the formula that the dream is a wish-fulfil- 
ment ; but the assertion stands, and is also easy 
to demonstrate for the dreams in Gradiva. The 
latent dream-thoughts — we know now what is 
meant by that — may be of numerous kinds ; in 
Gradiva they are day-remnants, thoughts which 
are left over unheard, and not disposed of by the 
psychic activity of waking life. In order that a 
dream may originate from them the co-operation 
of a — ^generally unconscious — wish is required ; 
this establishes the motive power for the dream- 
formation ; the day-remnants give the material for 
it. In Norbert Hanold's first dream two wishes 
concur in producing the dream, one capable of 
consciousness, the other, of course, belonging to 
the unconscious, and active because of repression. 
This was the wish, comprehensible to every archae- 
ologist, to have been an eye-witness of that 


catastrophe of 79. What sacrifice would be too 
great, for an antiquarian, to reahze this wish 
otherwise than through dreams ! The other wish 
and dream-maker is of an erotic nature : to be 
present when the beloved lies down to sleep, to 
express it crudely. It is the rejection of this 
which makes the dream an anxiety-dream. Less 
striking are, perhaps, the impelling wishes of the 
second dream, but if we recall its interpretation, 
we shall not hesitate to pronounce it also erotic. 
The wish to be captured by the beloved, to yield 
and surrender to her, as it may be construed 
behind the lizard-catching, has really a passive 
masochistic character. On the next day the 
dreamer strikes the beloved, as if under the sway 
of the antagonistic, erotic force ; but we must 
stop or we may forget that Hanold and Gradiva 
are only creatures of our author. 


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